It’s the little things that matter

We help health and social care decision makers understand and act on what matters to people who give or receive care. We do this by supporting decision makers and their teams to use a range of person centred engagement strategies, tools and techniques.

We show up in the world by being curious, creative, courageous and consistently working towards our mission. We light up when igniting passion and possibilities in people about care.

What gets us out of bed in the mornings and keeps us going is a dream to bring humanity into every interaction in health and social care.

Our new project: About Death podcast

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How we think, feel and talk about death

Talking about dying and death can make us feel uncomfortable, awkward or embarrassed as we’re not always sure what to say and when.

Through our new podcast, About Death, you’ll hear why and how people start talking about dying and death and if they didn’t, what they wish they might have said - and the impact this has had on their lives, and on the lives of those they love.

Listen to the episodes here.

 

Our approach: Spark’s 4Cs of engagement

Over the past three years we’ve found there are four principles that we keep returning to. We called these our 4Cs of engagement. We’ve tested these principles with 12 different teams and found that while every problem and context is different, there are similarities and learning that we can share. You can read more about our approach on our About Us page.

1. Converse genuinely

This first C (“Converse genuinely”) is about creating connections and conversations to understand what matters to people.

2. Capture sensitively

The second C (“Capture sensitively”) is about recording and sharing what people think, feel and say in a positive and constructive way.

3. Small changes

The third C (“Small changes”) is about bringing insights together to help decision makers understand what matters to people and act on what’s important.

4. Celebrate

The fourth and final C is celebration! This is about shining a light on the impact of your work and moments of humanity in care.

Finalists in the Patient Safety Awards 2019

We are delighted that our work with Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRCH) has been recognised in the HSJ Patient Safety Awards. We’re finalists in three awards: end of life care; quality improvement initiative of the year; and patient safety organisation of the year.

We supported three HRCH teams to understand and act on what matters to patients and those important to them, as well as supporting staff with a culture of continuous learning. Working together, staff now let patients know what's planned for their care in the next week (Inpatient Unit); they start early conversations about Advance Care Planning (Long Term Conditions) and dementia carers are supported with signposting guides (Dementia care in the community)

Patients and their families told us this work helped them feel less anxious and more prepared for their future. Staff felt more confident in starting conversations that matter. It's reduced stress, improved engagement in care and it's getting patients home a week earlier.

Here are some of their experiences:

A Mum and her son talk about living with Parkinson’s disease.

A Mum and her son talk about living with Parkinson’s disease.

A nurse shares what it felt like to talk to patients about Advance Care Planning.

A nurse shares what it felt like to talk to patients about Advance Care Planning.

A daughter shares what it feels like to be a dementia carer.

A daughter shares what it feels like to be a dementia carer.

A wife shares the difference it’s made to receive support for her husband who lives with dementia.

A wife shares the difference it’s made to receive support for her husband who lives with dementia.

Humans of Healthcare

When we use health and social care services, these can be some of the darkest days of our lives. When we need our doctors, nurses, receptionists or social workers the most, we expect them to be at their best. Every day. 

Sometimes we fail to see the men and women who work tirelessly to provide world class health and social care in a busy, challenging and constrained working environment. We see these men and women as a job; a uniform; as part of the system. 

On top of this, we don’t see the thousands of people working to support the front line of delivering care. Every patient, every doctor, every social worker has a story.

Through the Humans of Healthcare project, you can listen to people talk about their experiences of giving and receiving care.

 

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