1.8 Answers to activities

Activity 1.2: Good practice in involving others in action planning

There are no right and wrong answers here, but you may have identified some of the following things.

Scenario 1

It is good practice that children are being consulted about their experiences and that their views are being considered to inform an action plan. It is also good that the manager is involving other staff in the practice to help develop the action plan. However, there are many things that could be improved here. Firstly, the consultation took place a long time ago and services could have improved or deteriorated since that time. While many children in different locations will have similar needs, it is a big generalisation to suggest that the needs and experiences of children in a city will be the same as those in a rural area. Every location will have specific social, cultural and economic factors that affect children’s health. Finally, it looks as though the health worker has been given only a small amount of information about the consultation and has been asked to produce the plan in a short time period, making it difficult to consult and involve others.

What would you do? There are many different approaches you might take to improve the situation. You could ask to see the full consultation report. You could offer to consult with children in the community that you work with to check whether the findings are relevant in your area at this time. You could suggest forming a larger project team to discuss ideas. You might want to look at other sources of evidence available, and you might negotiate with your manager for a longer period of time to produce the action plan.

Scenario 2

This is a good example of how action planning can arise when people develop new knowledge and are able to identify problems and issues that they did not previously see. It is good practice that staff are being developed. It is also good practice that the health worker is trying to involve her line manager and other staff in the hospital. She has a clear idea of what can be improved, but recognises that leadership and support from others is necessary in this circumstance. The reactions from the manager and the senior manager are not too unusual in this case. People often see or agree with what needs to be done, but they have to balance this with other actions that are competing for their time. It is also not unusual for policies and plans to be developed with good intention but then for them to be forgotten about as new issues are given greater attention. Remember the ten characteristics of a good action plan that you learned about earlier? A good action plan needs to be revisited and updated at regular intervals.

What would you do? It is not possible in this case for you to develop an action plan, or involve others in developing an action plan, until you have permission and are allowed the time to do so. However, there are a number of things you might do to bring about changes to the practice in your ward. You can begin to make changes to what you do, leading by example. You can talk to some of your co-workers about what you have learned, encouraging them to attend training and to think about how they work. You might then be able to build support for your plan so that others raise the issue too. You could identify one or two small improvements that could be made immediately that require little time or cost and attempt to persuade your manager that these things could easily be done without interfering with other priorities. Lastly, you might be able to help your senior manager to find the policy and action plan she referred to. It may be displayed on a notice board, published on a website, or you might have received a copy as part of induction or training. You could follow up with her after a few weeks, perhaps telling her about the changes you are making to your practice and any positive results you have noticed.

1.7 Self-assessment questions

2 Monitoring and evaluation in your practice