The Inspire Improvement Fellowship – my journey so far

Marie Smith, FoNS Inspire Improvement Fellow

Hello, my name is Marie Smith and I work as a matron in the National High Secure Learning Disability Service at Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire, and I joined the Inspire Improvement Fellowship last year.

WOW what a journey so far, ‘I have never felt so inspired and empowered before’. I have been in nursing for 28 years and I am still keen to progress and develop myself. Being part of this fellowship has encouraged me to think about my leadership style and what sort of leader I want to be. At one session we discussed the Circles of control, concern and influence by Stephen Covey, this was enlightening and it is something I now promote within my own workplace; ‘don’t worry about the things you can’t control, just concentrate on the things that you can’. No more wasted energy on tasks/things that I cannot control anymore; I’m trying to work within my circle of control and increase my circle of influence and as one of the other fellows quite rightly said ‘be the change’, then people will follow you!

As part of the fellowship, I undertook a culture assessment on the wards I manage over Christmas, around ‘what is it like to work around here?’ and whilst I was disappointed with the lack of feedback, I was able to quickly turn it around to it being about ‘quality of the feedback I did receive and, not the quantity’ thanks to Jo and my FoNs Fellows. This has now encouraged me to think about how to progress with the feedback and to facilitate work around values and beliefs and creating a shared purpose with one of the teams. I plan to engage the ward leader to co-facilitate this with me, as supporting others to develop new skills is important to me. From this I hope the staff and patients can then create a shared vision – and I am hoping we can create something together that can be displayed.

Another idea I have is to use Emotional Touchpoints, which we learned about in our second learning block. I am hoping to use this approach to gather the patients’ experiences when arriving at a High Secure Hospital: What does it feel like driving up to the hospital, going into the vehicle lock, coming out of the van, seeing the staff for the first time and being searched (this is a necessary requirement as the hospital is a high secure setting). I hope this feedback will help us, as a service, look at how we can improve everyone’s experience.

I have to say that the support I get from the other fellows is AMAZING and is so valued too! We all come from very different backgrounds of nursing, but we all share so much in common!!! And I would highly recommend the programme for leaders … it is inspirational and forward thinking!

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