Always events

The Trust is taking part in the national roll out of the NHS England ‘always events’ initiative.

In the busy world of clinical care, often what really matters to patients, service users and their carers is not understood or adequately addressed.  The always event approach support moving from a focus on ‘whats the matter’ to also include ‘what matters most to you’.

What is an ‘always event’

Always events are aspects of the care experience that are so important to patients, relatives and carers that we must perform them consistently for every patient, every time.

An always event must meet four criteria:

1. Important: Patients, their family members or other care partners, and service users have identified the event as fundamental to improving their experience of care

2. Evidence-based: The event is known to contribute to the optimal care of and respect for patients, care partners, and service users.

3. Measurable: The event is specific enough that it is possible to determine whether or not the process or behaviours occur reliably.

4. Affordable and Sustainable:  The focus should be on leveraging opportunities to improve the care experience through improvements in relationship-based care and in care processes.

What have we done so far

Maternity staff at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust have been working together with The Picker Institute to provide a foundation for an ongoing co-designed quality improvement approach to improving patient experience. 

A workshop in March 2016 was attended by service users and maternity staff.  During the workshop, staff and patient developed aim statements (Always events®) for each service area and agreed changes for improvement.   

The following ’always event®’ statements were agreed:

  • Antenatal – I will always understand what is happening at each stage of my pregnancy
  • Birth – I will always have a realistic timescale for discharge
  • Postnatal – I will always feel prepared and have a clear expectation and understanding of when I am going home

Feedback from the workshop was very positive with comments such as “I like that what I had to say and my experience has helped to effect change”, “I like that opinions matter and are helping to make a change for other women”. 

Co-design work is ongoing and includes design of new hand held notes, a new discharge leaflet, improvements in bedside discharge planning and development of a visitors charter and welcome information.  This has been achieved through involvement of maternity support groups, a further workshop and engagement of mums whilst receiving our services. 

What’s next?

The Trust has just been accepted to take part in Phase 3 of the national roll out of the NHS England ‘always event’ initiative. Currently the programme comprises of 10 provider pilot sites in England. The focus of the work will be aimed at testing improvements in End of Life care.

For more information on always events please click here to go to the NHS England website. 

Click here for a the NHS England toolkit.