Evidence about the impact of staff skills and motivation on securing positive outcomes for children is well understood. Scotland’s new health and social care standards speak to the importance of continual reflection on practice, and a willingness to create an empowered culture amongst staff teams, establishing that people experiencing care should ‘benefit from a culture of continuous improvement.’
Since 2017, CHAS has embraced the concept of intrapreneurship and has partnered with a social enterprise, The Lens, to deliver an improvement programme designed to unlock and unleash the creativity and skills of staff, volunteers and supported families and use these to further improve the care of children with life-shortening conditions.
Staff, volunteers and families are encouraged to develop ideas that link to CHAS’ strategic objectives of reaching more families and children and turn them into action. Annually CHAS Intrapreneurs pitch for a share of £35k and winning ideas are selected by a panel of peer staff, volunteers and families. The judging panel is completely empowered to decide what projects will attract funding. Support is provided to build confidence in pitching, planning service improvements, and delivering change programmes. Projects which successfully attracted funding include:
a partnership with an accessible playground so supported children can play outside;
a programme of death cafés to facilitate community discussions about death and dying across Scotland;
memory boxes for children of all ages giving families a gift they cherish;
a communications project to better support children who do not verbalise;
a paediatric palliative care network for community pharmacies;
a creative space at one of our hospices for family members.
The delivery of winning ideas is built into the overall CHAS strategic plan and they are now demonstrably making a difference to hospice and palliative care in CHAS, improving the care we provide for children with life-shortening conditions.
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