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Engaging People in Service Development

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Title: Engaging People in Service Development

Author: Brian Dolan

Publisher: Fink in Organisations

Reviewer: Anne Olaitan, community matron, South East London

What was it like?

FINK  is a  publication, which is aimed at supporting service employers with effective communication. The authors have backgrounds in life coaching, yet the topics and strategies around communication can be applied to any service setting. The content is presented on a series of cards that are colour coded according to the area of communication being explored. Each card has a statement about effective working from either a personal or service perspective. The first three cards offer tips on how to use the framework. 

What were the highlights?

The pack covers the following areas: Patient Safety, Improving Patient Experience, Skills Prompt, Staff Well-being and  Efficiency and Effectiveness.  All of these areas appear to match the philosophy of NHS initiatives, such as benchmarking and patient experience. I found this format a manageable read as it condenses large chunks of information into bite-size pieces and is portable and versatile which allows choice on whether to cover an area or a single quote.

However, the section on skills prompt is brief in comparison to the other sections. Yet the focus on how to overcome barriers in communication and detailed examples can add to a person’s existing knowledge around this subject. The pack contains tools on common mistakes, which are found to be made during 1-1 interactions, can help to place emphasis on continued reflection on one’s own communication style.

A particular highlight was the Improving staff and well-being section, a useful and relevant source of information for today’s challenging work environments.  I thought this section instilled a sense of personal responsibility which added credence to the  term ‘everybody counts’ and links any changes to positive patient outcomes.

Strengths & weaknesses:

A Strength is that this format encourages someone to use a spontaneous approach without the need for an index. The advantages are the durability of the cards as opposed to paper, very clear colourful graphics and information.

Who should read it?

As all service employers are responsible for quality and outcomes within the NHS, I would recommend these cards to every person who works for the NHS, such as administration and reception staff, students, medical staff and all nursing staff. Furthermore the cards can service as format for team building exercises.

Engaging People in Service Development

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