Building a Better Health Service

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Values in Action

Values in Action is about delivering better experiences to those who use our services, and creating better workplaces for our staff. As one of the Values in Action champions puts it,

it’s for ourselves and it’s for our patients

Every day thousands of health service staff across Ireland live our values of care, compassion, trust and learning. Sometimes this is very visible, sometimes less so. Values in Action is about building a culture in the health service that reflects our values, so that they are evident every day in every workplace. 

The health service has made two bold decisions; to translate our values into specific behaviours, and to start a movement to make sure that they are not just words, but become the core of our health service culture.

Values in Action is led by staff from across the health service, from all grades and disciplines, who are working together to create a grassroots movement to spread the behaviours that reflect our values. Values in Action is mobilising staff and empowering them to lead the changes that we need to truly build a better health service.

This is not something that we have done before. It’s a new approach to building the kind of health service we all want - from the inside out - making the health service a better place for staff, patients and service users. It’s going to take all of us - from all grades, roles, disciplines and backgrounds - working together to change our health service for the better.

Values in Action has been underway in the Mid West in the UL Hospitals Group and in the Mid West Community Healthcare since mid-2016 and is already showing very promising results. In the 12 months on pulse survey, the Mid West champions have indicated that the impact of the nine behaviours is spreading:

  • 79% of colleagues are aware of how they make other people feel, this is an increase of 10% over twelve months
  • 62% of respondents think their colleagues keep their patients informed by explaining the now and the next when caring for them, a 13% increase since last year
  • Looking at creating more positive, supportive working environments, 82% feel valued and appreciated for the work that they do - some or all of the time - compared to 51% last year, and 78% acknowledge the work of their colleagues compared to 59% last year
  • 8 in 10 staff now use their name and their patients’ names, up from 5 in 10 last year

We have learned that there is a significant appetite amongst staff to support and lead this movement throughout the health service. Values in Action is now also underway within the National Divisions, Dublin North City and County (DNCC) and with Doctors (NCHDs).

The values of care, compassion, trust and learning are based on the HSE Corporate Plan 2015 – 2017. The organisation structure of the health service is changing but the culture is changing too. Values in Action is part of our mission to build a better health service, and supports the ongoing change and improvement programmes currently underway across the health service.

Follow our progress and join the conversation on Twitter @HSEValues  #weareourvalues.  
Read more about our behaviours and the role of our champions 
Contact the Values in Action project team

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