By Jo Odell, Inspire Improvement Lead and Debbie Warren, FoNS Marketing and Communications Lead

Through this review, you can explore the journey of the fellows, the highs and lows, as they collaboratively explore with their teams the ‘ways things are done round here’, the patterns, habits and routines of practice.

In this review, we describe the impact for fellows and their teams, as the new ways of working, new methods and new approaches which have been introduced have led to a feeling of increased confidence and self-belief, enabling the fellows to make a real difference in practice.

In the current national context of very high workloads and problems recruiting and retaining staff, the importance of how workplace culture is created and how teams function should not be underestimated. A caring culture makes things better for everyone. Patients, service users, residents and their families and carers experience good care. Staff feel valued and supported which helps them to provide the care patients want with compassion and confidence.

The Inspire Improvement Fellowship: Our Journey

by Jo Odell, Inspire Improvement Lead and FoNS Facilitator and Debbie Warren

We are delighted to present our review of our first ‘blended’ Inspire Improvement Fellowship programme. Jo Odell says: ‘It was wonderful to witness how much the fellows have developed and grown from when I first met them and how they are truly free to be themselves. I witnessed human flourishing in each of them. This has since translated into promotion and new roles for some and for others reaching difficult decisions to change their nursing journey to improve their work life balance.’

And this is echoed by participants: ‘I have greater confidence to lead and facilitate. I am more likely to challenge practice and culture that is unhelpful. This has impacted on my communication with senior leadership and my relationships on the units.’

One group chose to represent their evaluation as a bouquet of flowers as they felt it ‘showed their growth and bloom, as they felt they had all bloomed and grown’ (see right).

This group of fellows chose to represent their evaluation using a pirate ship theme (see below). They created ‘HMS FoNS’, where we are ‘all in one boat to ride the waves together’, suggesting the importance of connection to self, other fellows and their staff members and patients.

Exploring the Rainbow: Growing as Leaders, Navigating Complexity, Moving to Action 2021-22

Authors: Jo Odell and Debbie Warren – Foundation of Nursing Studies

Through this review of the year 2 and year 3 of the Inspire Improvement Fellowship, we wanted to ‘shine a light on the participants’ experiences of the programme’. We used participants’ experiences as evidenced by the evaluations they provided, blogs they wrote, interviews they gave and feedback they provided.

We asked:

Has the Inspire Improvement Fellowship succeeded in its aim?

We found:

The Inspire Improvement Fellowship has succeeded in its aim:

  • Fellows report feeling better able to work with their teams; to ‘facilitate’ rather than ‘fix’
  • Fellows develop greater understanding of the importance of collaboration, inclusion and participation in practice
  • Fellows work with their own values and the values of their teams
  • Teams become problem solvers and take on new responsibilities
  • Fellows are able to think in new ways and explore creatively
  • The Inspire Improvement Fellows report an increase in confidence; enabling them to try new methods and approaches in practice. This is reflected in how they describe their changed ways of working

We asked:

How has funding enabled participation and further learning and development opportunities?

We found:

The bursary gave the Fellows a certain amount of ‘freedom’ to enable their own participation and development, and that of their teams.

We asked:

Has FoNS created a safe and supportive online learning environment?

We found:

FoNS has created a safe and supportive online experience, however, Fellows ultimately want to meet in person and going forward years 4-6 will take a blended approach of two online learning blocks and a final face-to-face two-day workshop

We asked:

What is the learning for fellows from the participatory evaluation?

We found:

The participator evaluation deepens and consolidates understanding, and emphasises that evaluation is and should be a process, not a tick box exercise. It makes evaluation a positive exercise, and even a fun one. We would like to explore this in future evaluations.

We asked:

How has the role of co-facilitator enabled the development of further facilitation skills?

We found:

We are delighted that this was an opportunity for co-facilitators to further embed their knowledge and skills and also to gain a deeper understanding of the methods and approaches in helping to support other fellows to use and adapt these to their own workplaces.

The Inspire Improvement Fellowship: Moving Online

Authors: Jo Odell and Debbie Warren – Foundation of Nursing Studies

The Inspire Improvement Fellows report a transformational journey for themselves and their teams. This is evidenced through their vastly improved confidence as facilitative leaders of culture change, a wider range of leadership skills (leading to job promotion for some participants) and the ability to influence others. The Fellows have focused on ‘creating a caring culture’ in their workplace and this has resulted in improved team working and
morale (leading to improved recruitment and retention rates in their teams).

The variety of approaches used (including workshops/ virtual sessions, workplace facilitation and the provision of a bursary but especially active learning) within the fellowship have not only resulted in improvements in culture of care but have enabled the development of a co-created community of practice. Their community of practice enables and promotes support, resilience and self-facilitation. This has helped sustain the Fellows to continue working in person-centred ways, seeking inspiration from each other and reducing individual isolation. Indeed, they are generating new ways of working to provide each other with continued support, so developing a larger community of practice (alumni) as each cohort joins the fellowship programme.

Game Changer – The Inspire Improvement Fellowship 2018

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