Photo of the front cover of our Journeys programme overview brochure
Created on 8 August 2017

A ‘Journey’ in transformational change

Learning from experience and analysing past performance is one of the key elements of Enable East’s commitment to continually learn and grow. A new case study has just been published which examines the Journeys programme: a significant transformation project involving hundreds of staff working together to implement a ground-breaking new way of working within the North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

The five-year programme delivered a major transformation of adult and older adult mental health services and was a journey of understanding issues, achieving clarity about intended outcomes, redefining standards and pathways, and engaging the hearts and minds of those frontline staff who would be pivotal in making changes actually happen.

Susannah Howard, Enable East Director and Journeys programme lead said: “The Journeys programme was definitely as much of a ‘journey’ for the project management team at Enable East as it was for those working in the community mental health services in the Trust. This case study tells the story of the programme, and how the project team became ever more resourceful over time in finding ways to respond to the challenges they faced.”

‘The Journeys Programme: A case study in transformational change’ includes a foreword from Professor David A. Shore, a world-leading authority in implementing large scale transformational change in healthcare organisations and who delivered several workshops to staff throughout the programme. He says that people “reflexively fear the new” and that “change is especially hard for people when the needed change is fundamental and far-reaching.” The overview document looks at the case for change, what the intended outcomes were and the processes and methodology used.

It is also honest in examining the real challenges faced by the project team and what this meant for the development and implementation of the project. One of the biggest factors was staff engagement – both early in the project to allow them to fully understand why change was necessary, and throughout as the changes were implemented and their working practices altered. The project team found it necessary to respond to significant emotional issues as the reality of service transformation, of working in different ways and sometimes in different teams, became more apparent.

Looking back over a project allows us to examine what contributed to the successes, and what could be done differently in the future to mitigate challenges faced previously. Although the Journeys programme inevitably had obstacles to overcome, the overall results provided significant benefits for the Trust. Waiting times are now almost halved, the CQC rated the new services as good in their August 2015 inspection with teams seen as being one of the strongest parts of the organisation, and there has been £1.8million of savings across the Trust.

Susannah sums up by saying: “whatever the change – change is hard. Transformational change is harder still. But we know that it is possible to make even transformational improvements actually happen and this Journeys programme overview provides some great insights into how this can be done in practice.”

If you would like a hard copy of ‘The Journeys Programme: A case study in transformational change’ please call 01206 228628 or email enableeast@enableeast.org.uk . To download a copy please click here.

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