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 Values in Action champion 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.

Watch our story so far

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 is already showing very promising results.  There’s  a significant appetite amongst staff to support and lead this movement. To learn what’s changing in the culture, and at what rate, we carry out baseline culture surveys at the outset and changes are tracked as the programme progresses. We’ve learned that at the end of the first year of Values in Action the prevalence of the 9 behaviours increases by approximately 10%. By the end of the second year, as we are currently seeing in the Mid West, the behaviours begin to embed and become ‘the norm’ for how things are done.

Two years on, 99% of Champions in the Mid West say it’s now the norm to use my name and your name in interactions.  Less than half of staff were routinely introducing themselves in 2016.   7 in 10 Mid West Champions say they now take the time to explain the now and the next to patients and service users. Values in Action has brought about a greater appreciation of the importance of this behaviour  which is about being open and sharing information to reduce uncertainty as much as you can. Values in Action is helping to create more positive working environments.  6 in 10 Champions are now regularly offering to help their colleagues and 9 in 10 now regularly acknowledge the work of their colleagues. Read more about how the behaviours are embeding in the Mid West.

One year on, 9 in 10 Champions who report nationally say they recognise each other’s work , offer positive feedback and thanks.  Half of champions now refuse to be bystanders when they hear colleagues speaking disrespectfully about another colleague. Read more about the impact Values in Action is having in the Centre.

Values in Action is now also underway in Dublin North City and County (DNCC) and with Doctors (NCHDs).

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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