Showcasing three teams at different stages of team development
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust – 2016
The Trust wanted to support frontline teams with an all-in-one tool-kit for improving team performance.
Why Team Based Working?
Frimley’s OD and People Strategy 2015-18 is focused on building a positive and empowered culture.
“We recognise the impact of effective team working on patient care,” explains Claire Quinn, Head of Learning and OD.
“We wanted to invest in our teams and looked for evidence-based ways to support our leaders. We chose the Affina Team Journey – an online tool-kit for team leaders – because it’s based on what’s already known about high performing teams.”
“It’s perfect for us – a programme that we manage in-house and is suitable for teams at all levels, whether or not they are already working well together.”
Teams work through the practical and interactive materials at their own pace, usually in four to six months.
Three teams reflect on their journey so far.
Senior Pharmacy Team
Chief Pharmacist Dennis Lauder is still on the journey but thoroughly recommends it to other team leaders.
“It provided structure to what was a newly-formed team following an acquisition and brought everyone into a ‘team’ way of thinking,” he says. “Work around team identity was particularly helpful and we devoted a meeting to agreeing team and individual objectives so that there was a consistency across all team members ahead of appraisals.”
“There is a logical flow to the journey but you can dip in and out or skip parts that are not relevant to your team. And because you set your own time-scale, you can work on it when time allows.”
“It really helped me to think more logically about the team’s direction and involving individuals according to their skills and roles, especially in relation to leavers and new starters.”
“I’m already seeing the beneficial effects in terms of the services we provide and this will ultimately improve patient outcomes.”
Hospital Sterilisation and Disinfection Unit (HSDU) Team
“The tools are handy and accessible and allowed us to have more purposeful and focused team meetings,” says Andrew McCulloch.
“For example, we used one session to look more deeply at decision-making and this now works well in my team.”
Andrew’s HSDU team completed the team journey in 11 months and he was delighted with the improvement shown in the team’s before and after assessments (see below).
“I’m not saying it was easy! The first three stages on team identity, objectives and role clarity were challenging but I can now see how valuable they were as groundwork for the other stages which became progressively easier.”
Palliative Care Services Team
“We were reassured by our baseline questionnaire results,” says Mary Hayes, Head of Cancer and End of Life Care. “It confirmed the alignment amongst team members – we’re all coming from the same place.”
“But the team journey still challenges our thinking about the team,” she adds.
“It helps us to think about the bigger picture – Frimley Health as a whole and less about individual hospitals. We articulate the inter-team relationships and the potential for conflict of interest. We talk openly about the different teams we all work in. I’ve found that the impact of sharing this is very positive.”
“It’s easy to say you don’t have time but take the decision to commit, as we did, and you’ll see the value in terms of working together and moving forward.”