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Monday, December 3, 2018, Issue 172

WHY Fronts: 'Quality' Christmas

AUTHOR: CHRIS WOODGATE

How do I beat last year’s piece on a ‘quality’ Christmas (why not look it up)? Not easy from my perspective as part of me can’t bear to think about Christmas yet!

I suppose for me that may be the point: when you, your teams and your manager want to look at implementing the imaging standard do you feel like you can’t bear to think about it as it is too much work, or, like Christmas, do you worry about how you are going to afford it this year?  

Yes; like Christmas, implementing the imaging standard is hard work, but you don’t get a ‘quality’ Christmas by accident, do you?  
For some of you, it will be planning meals, visits from or to relatives (some who can mix and some who can’t), whether you have a real tree or artificial (risks/benefits – specifically tree needles!) and who has control of the remote on the day. 

In the same vein neither do you get a quality service for patients by accident.

Funding is another issue: how do you afford Christmas?  Like the standard, do you weigh the benefit against the cost? Who do you have to persuade that the number of ‘gift’ items on a list to Santa is too many, or too expensive, or alternatively the ‘must haves’ that you can’t do without?   Who supports you in the campaign for what you want for Christmas; who do you need to get ‘on side’?  What evidence will you use to persuade, or perhaps explain, what service you might have to withdraw if don’t get said gift (a dishwasher is for life, not just Christmas; nobody wants to do the washing up on Christmas day, do they?)

Or do you do Christmas by rote: we have traditions and we stick to them. After all, that is part of the pleasure of Christmas, isn’t it?  The comfort and security of knowing how things will be done, the pleasure of Christmases remembered. 

But, what happens when life around you changes, perhaps teenagers wanting to spend Christmas differently, parents who don’t cope like they used to and need extra care, or when your children have children of their own and set up their own Christmas traditions?

I think we adapt, we put into place a different type of Christmas which will become our ‘norm’ but change is never easy and it may take a little time and practice. 

All of these examples can be used about the imaging service you provide; the team working to make it happen, the funding to get the essentials you need, the challenge of the changing NHS and how services adapt but still maintain quality.

Why not think about implementing the imaging standard? It really can be the gift that keeps on giving. 

The standard can provide you with evidence for safe practice, staffing levels, equipment replacement, the importance of research and development and increased team working making sure everyone has a say in how your service operates.

The imaging standard isn’t like getting a pair of socks (boring), it is like one of those gifts that gives you a sense of pride and satisfaction (a bit like the special card from your six year old, the first gift from a teenager bought with thought and care rather than provided by your partner for the teen to give you; the list could go on). 

Being proud of our profession and the care we give our patients is key to a really good imaging service; we are always better than we think we are.

And, like Christmas, we enjoy it more when we are surrounded by our ‘teams’.

If you want to know more or want to see for yourself why not contact me or look at the webpage:

ISAS@sor.org  -   http://www.sor.org/imagine-services-accreditation-scheme

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