Dismantling the silos: Poster Exhibition to share and celebrate good practice

Project team:

  • Lis Edwards, Library Services Manager
  • Library Services Team
  • Medical Illustration Team

Resources required: Poster template, Library staff time, Medical Illustration team time

Timeframe: Two months

The story: In September 2016 The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust began a culture change programme throughout the organisation.  This was in response to reports from Deloitte and the CQC which found that there were issues within the Trust around leadership and culture.  As part of the culture change programme two ‘big conversations’ have taken place where members of the executive team and Non-executive directors have visited every department in the hospital  to talk and listen to staff about their concerns.  One of the overwhelming issues raised by staff throughout the Trust was that they wanted other staff to recognise the work that was going on within their departments, and also to know more about what other wards and departments were doing.

Within this setting the Library Services Manager was asked to look at how a culture of innovation could be created within the Trust, by facilitating an event to celebrate and share good practice.  All staff were invited to submit a poster which would go on display as part of a poster exhibition to take place in the main entrance of the hospital, giving both staff and patients an opportunity to see the diversity of work which goes on within the organisation.  The Medical Illustration team based in the hospital agreed to create a template for the posters, and issued guidance for designing a poster.  The library team offered help to all staff in the design and layout of the poster.

The Library Services Manager met with managers and team leaders across the Trust, both clinical and non-clinical to ask for their support for this event.  An Invitation was sent to all staff, and the template and guidance was made available on the Trust intranet.  A deadline of two weeks prior to the event was set for the submission of posters, and regular reminders to staff were communicated via the Trust electronic noticeboard and Facebook and Twitter.  The Chief Executive Officer also lent his support to the event at his monthly staff forum.

Our expectation for support for this event had been around 30 to 40 posters at the most.  The response that we had was totally overwhelming; as the deadline approached it was becoming clear that we had really struck a chord with staff.  The final number of posters submitted was over 100, way beyond our most optimistic expectations.  Because of the number of submissions it was decided to reduce the size of the posters when printed to enable us to make better use of the display space we had available.  This worked well as some departments had submitted several posters in order to tell their ‘story’ and we were able to group them together on the display.

Prior to the day, all senior managers in the Trust were asked to ensure as many staff as possible were given time to view the posters, and be able to be part of the event.

Colleagues from other departments within the hospital helped the library team to display the posters the day before, also affording more staff the opportunity to view the posters.  Initially we had planned for the posters to be on display for one day only, but because of the enthusiasm for the event and the huge amount of information on display it was decided to extend the display over the weekend.

We also supplied all departments throughout the Trust with stickers (small dots) to put on the posters which they found of most interest.  The 3 teams whose posters had the largest number of dots were presented with chocolates by the Chief Executive Officer.

Support and interest from both staff and patients for the event was immense, and the energy and enthusiasm as people viewed the posters was amazing.  The event was organised in response to a view expressed by many staff that no-one knew or valued what they did, and what their contribution was to the organisation.   This exhibition, by showcasing the huge variety of work which goes on, gave us a chance to share what we do; to break out of our individual silos and engage in meaningful and thought-provoking conversations with our colleagues.

Staff from across the Trust really embraced the concept of this event, and have shared learning and good practice from their area of work.  It offered a unique opportunity for us all to learn from each other and about the work which goes on.  By learning from each other and finding out if others have a better way of doing things; we can find the ‘how’ and not just the ‘what’ of bringing about change.
Alignment to local, regional and national drivers: 

Organisational Drivers:

Caring for patients:

·         By sharing good practice and learning from each other

·         Patients given the opportunity to see and understand the work that goes on within the Trust.

Caring for Staff:

·         Giving staff the opportunity to share learning and good practice from their area of work

·         Breaking down silos and giving staff the opportunity to network and learn about what other teams do, and how they may be able to work together.

·         Enabling change in practice.

Caring for Finances:

·         Sharing good practice, enabling other teams to use more efficient ways of carrying out their work.

 

Impact of this project/service: This event was symbolic of what the library service brings to the organisation:

·         Bringing people together

·         Sharing knowledge

It also raised the profile of the library service and our accessibility to staff.
Lessons learned: The response to this project far outweighed our expectations.  The amount of posters submitted made it difficult to keep track of numbers.  In addition several iterations of the same poster were submitted which again made it difficult to ensure the final version was displayed.

Sustainability / next steps? 

  • We will be displaying the posters again as part of the information fair which will be held prior to the Trust AGM.  The posters will be on display as before in the main entrance, and also in the conference suite, giving us another opportunity to showcase our work.
  • We are creating a PDF booklet of all the posters which will be available on the Trust Intranet, enabling all staff to view or revisit the posters.
  • We are exploring how we can use the posters to showcase the work of the Trust going forward.
  • We are planning to make this an annual event

Contact details: Lis Edwards, Library Services Manager, Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, Lis.edwards@rjah.nhs.uk, 01691 404287

Date case study completed: 2nd June 2017

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