Kim Thomas

Crisis Recovery Unit Manager, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

FoNS Inspire Improvement Fellow

I think I was coming to a point where I probably would have finished in my role if I hadn’t gone on the FoNS programme. I had taken on the role of manager at the unit eight years ago and I felt I was very much on my own and responsible for problem solving everything. I felt that I was constantly firefighting. Then I joined the Inspire Improvement Fellowship and it doesn’t click initially that they’re actually showing you, from day one, how to work collaboratively! It took a while, then all of a sudden, I got it! A light bulb moment.

I was worried when we had our first collaborative meeting in our unit, however it was just amazing. As a team, we came up with a concern to work with. The team brought that forward and we worked together exactly as we did in the fellowship sessions. By the end of the meeting, we had lots of ideas. Whereas in the past, if I’d introduced an intervention, it probably would have been actioned for two weeks and then it would have stopped. This time, the team came up with their own action plan and they kept going with it.

Since we introduced the collaborative meetings, it’s like a calmness has come over me. Now when something comes up, we think it through together. It’s improved the team and it’s enhanced my life. As I said, I probably would have retired, but this has given me more years in the job and I’m happy. The Inspire Improvement Fellowship has been an investment in me and the whole team. I hope it carries on for a long while because it’s so needed at the moment.

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