Building a Better Health Service


Values in Action is Spreading to National Divisions

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 mobilising staff and empowering them to lead the changes that we need to truly build a better health service. Values in Action works with peer-nominated staff, drawn from all grades and disciplines, to create a bottom-up movement to spread the behaviours that reflect our values.

Centre bootcamp champions

Values in Action has been underway in the MidWest in the UL Hospitals Group and in Mid-West Community Healthcare since mid-2016 and is already showing very promising results. 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 spreading and is now entering its next phase where it is currently being rolled out to the national divisions.  On October 10th and 11th, a two-day ‘Bootcamp’ was held for all of our national division Champions. Approximately 250 people came together over the two days to learn about Values Action and their role as a Champion. Find out what some of the champions said about becoming a champion.   The Director General Tony O’Brien opened the event and congratulated each Champion on being nominated by their peers. The DG said, “I would encourage you to embrace the challenge and opportunity that becoming a Values in Action Champion presents. I will be following the progress of Values in Action closely and I look forward to seeing the positive impact I know you will have on the culture of our health service.” 

Viral Change
The Champions were introduced to the principles of Viral Change™ by Dr Leandro Herrero. Real cultural change is shaped by the behaviours of small groups of influential individuals from all levels across the organisation.These well connected individuals are creating a grassroots social movement that makes our values and behaviours recognisable, visible and a normal part of our everyday conversations in the health service. We call them our Champions. 

Our Behaviours
The Champions were then introduced to our behaviours where they learnt that real cultural change is shaped by behaviours of small groups of influential individuals from all levels across the organisation. The HSE has translated our values of care, compassion, trust and learning into behaviours. The nine behaviours are designed in response to common themes identified, and were tested with staff and patients, who agreed that living the behaviours would improve the experience of staff and service users.  

The Champions learned about the role of storytelling in culture change. The Champions shared some great stories from their workplaces. When we share stories about our 9 behaviours we show how our behaviours are being lived and also show ways that other colleagues can apply the behaviours. The role of the Champion Champions learned about the role of a champion and how they can be activists for culture change in their workplaces. Champions are now spreading the behaviours that underpin Values in Action amongst their colleagues. They are also looking for people to join the movement and be part of creating this change.  Read more Values in Action stories.

Social Movement
The energy in the room over the two days was remarkable. We captured some of the Champions’ thoughts and words used to describe the experience included “Excited, Privileged, Honoured, Inspired and Hopeful”. This is a new approach to building the kind of health service we all want - from the inside out, making the health services a better place for staff, patients and service users. And 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. 

The initiator of Values in Action, Kirsten Connolly closed the two-day event by saying: “Together we are going to lead a movement in the health service that changes that health service for the better, one that reflects our values and one that makes the health service a better place to be for staff and for service users, SO LET’S GO.”