Moule, P. , Young, P. , Albarran, J. , Oliver, B. , Curran, T. , Hopkinson, C. , Pollard, K. , Hadfield, J. , Lima, M. and Rice, C.
Leadership course evaluation with patient and public involvement.
University of the West of England.
1. This project had two components, the evaluation of a Developing and Enhancing Leadership and Management Skills programme delivered to 150 frontline supervisory and senior managers in North Bristol NHS Trust and the implementation of guidelines for Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research.
2. Evaluation data were collected through three knowledge café events engaging 36 staff. These events were used to facilitate and record meaningful conversations that were focused around five questions. Follow-up interviews were conducted with a further 15 staff.
3. The PPI guidelines were applied throughout the project and the experiences of the two service users involved were recorded through ongoing dialogue and review of guideline implementation.
4. Data from the events and interviews suggested the programme had benefits for staff. These included the development of new insights and better understanding of the roles and experiences of other leaders in the Trust. Immediate and sustained outcomes were also reported for the individuals and organisation. Staff felt that they moved forward professionally and had insight into the “bigger picture”. They also welcomed delivery from external facilitators who had a refreshing approach.
5. Staff were also able to demonstrate new learning. In particular the programme had changed their approach to handling leadership issues and their use of tools and skills. Managers reported taking a different approach to the management of more challenging situations, planning responses rather than reacting and encouraging problem-solving and reflection in staff.
6. Staff reflected on a number of issues that affected their ability to apply learning in practice. They commented on the need for a learning culture, with a strategy to support the implementation of new learning. They felt senior managerial support with the implementation of change was crucial. Having the time to implement learning was important and access to ongoing support to implement change would also be helpful, through perhaps knowledge café events or supervision and coaching.
7. The service users found their involvement in this research to be largely positive, though there is a need to ensure all academics are attuned to the needs of service users engaged in projects.
8. A number of recommendations emerged, such as: continue to include a wide range of staff in the same programme to allow sharing of expertise; consider delivering to an even wider range of staff including team leaders; maintain external consultancy role in delivery; consider post-course follow-up and include this in the initial contracting. There was also a recommendation that the organisation undertake internal reflections that explore the current learning culture and identify ways of supporting staff to implement learning in practice.
9. The UWE guidelines for PPI in research were evaluated as being fit for purpose and could usefully guide service user and carer involvement in a range of evaluation and research projects.
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