4 September, 2015

News > Always Events supporting cultural change at Lancashire Care

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust provides health and wellbeing services to over 1.5 million people. These include community nursing, health visiting, mental health services and a range of therapy services for both the children’s and adult learning disabilities community.

They are committed to providing quality person centred care and continuously working to keep service users at the heart of everything they do.

As part of this dedication to quality care, the Learning Disability Unit have implemented the Always Events® initiative, a collaborative change programme focused on the aspects of care experience that are so important to service users, that carers and health care providers must perform them consistently for every patient, every time. Launched by NHS England, in collaboration with Picker and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), it is running at three pilot sites (including Lancashire Care) and aims to put patients and their families firmly at the centre of care delivery.

As one of the first organisations to take part in the pilot, Lancashire Care is the most advanced trust involved in the Always Events programme. The concept has been openly embraced by staff who are working hard to learn from the experts – their service users.

The valuable ideas generated by their service users have informed two service “touchpoints” that needed immediate improvement:

  • Supporting people moving from one area of care to another
  • Helping staff to communicate more effectively with learning disabled people

Key recommendations include:

  • Pop in and chat –  Following service user feedback that care management and endings needed to be planned better, so people felt supported post discharge, the “pop in and chat service” was introduced as a chance for patients to keep in touch with care teams and meet other service users in similar circumstances.
  • Service contact card – Include the Learning Disability Unit details; an address, contact number and photograph of the building, so service users know that help is always available and exactly how to access it
  • Large font, easy to read letters including photographs – Sent all correspondence in a large, easy to read font, using simple, accessible language that is easy to hand. Additionally, include the staff photo at the bottom of all service user correspondence, so that they know exactly who they are talking to.

Both the above and other learnings from the pilot will feed into an NHS-wide toolkit, which will be available in April 2016.

Of the value of the Always Events Programme, Julie Clift, Clinical lead at Lancashire Care said:

‘Being involved in Always Events has enabled the learning disability service to really respond to the needs of our service users in a meaningful way. This is collaborative working at its very best. People with learning disabilities know what they want from us as a heath provider. These little enhancements to the way we work will have real meaningful impact on how our service users feel about the care we provide’

Further details on the Lancashire Care work and the innovative, co-designed services implemented as part of the pilot are available here

Seven more trusts have signed up to phase two of the Always Events® pilot, click here to learn more about the programme, and how it can support quality care in your organisation 


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