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Abstract

NHS England, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Picker and NHS Improvement started the work described in this article to strengthen how patients, carers and staff working together in co-design and co-production can make a real difference in improving experience of care. Always Events®, which is an improvement methodology for the co-design and consistent implementation of those aspects of patient experience that matter most to patients in a health care setting, was chosen. The approach has been to first test the methodology with three organizations then to spread to a substantial proportion of acute health care providers, with concurrent scale-up within organizations that were early adopters in single settings, and then spread to other providers including care homes, primary care and integrated care systems. For organizations to be successful in embedding and sustaining Always Events, and to have a significant impact on improving experience, we learnt that health organizations should: a) co-produce with patients/service users from the very start and throughout every phase, b) integrate quality improvement, patient experience and person-centered care, c) identify an Executive Leader champion who can support the team to gain momentum from the beginning, d) keep an open mind and not be tempted to pre-determine what changes need to be made; patients/service users & staff know the challenges and have the best, simplest and most affordable ideas for improvement and finally, e) involving point of care staff from the beginning and co-designing the Always Event with them will support engagement and reduce resistance to change.

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