NHS Change Day - and event to celebrate

Comment & Opinion

Our NHS is the best care system in the world. That’s indisputable.

And it’s a fact that we should be very proud and celebrate.

But our health system is also at a tipping point. Workloads have increased, resources have diminished, and staff morale is at an all-time low. We live in a society that everything is a click away and changes are happening faster and faster. Patients very often know more about their illness than most of us - and that’s good. But sometimes I feel that our NHS is not matching the speed that things are done nowadays. Unless we change quickly and adapt to the new society, we will no longer meet the demands of our population; consequently, it will be impossible to be ranked the number one health care system in the world.

The NHS 5 years Forward View recognises this fact.

This ‘Forward View’ sets out a clear direction for the NHS, showing why change is needed and what it will look like. But to be able to accomplish that, the NHS needs all of us to come together in unity.

Resisting change is futile. Like it or not is going to happen anyway, and like Charles Darwin says, ‘it is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the one more responsive to change’. And believe me is a lot more fun if you lead the change.

Being part of the change will also solve another of the frontline problems, engagement and low morale.

The NHS Change Day is an opportunity to come together and harness our collective energy, creativity and ideas to make a change. Together each of our small actions will make a big difference in improving the care and wellbeing of those who use the NHS. You don’t need permission to join this grassroots movement - everyone is welcome. The only requirement is the willingness to do a small action.

In the NHS there are 1.2 million people like you.  And even more on the private sector and care homes. We’re all passionate about caring and helping people. If each of us makes one small change, together we can change how the world works.

In the frustrating moments when we see that things aren’t happening in the best way, we can start on the small change actions that, in time, and with the help of others, overcome the things that were getting in our way.

NHS Change Day supports campaigns to raise awareness and promote good practice.  This means that if you are struggling to come up with an idea, you can just join a campaign!! Easy as peasy!! A clear example is the ‘#HelloMyNameIs’ Campaign last year.

On Wednesday 11 March we lit up the country with everyone’s actions. The positive changes that have resulted due to the actions people have taken were acknowledged. Last year, I pledged not to leave any of my patients’ homes without raising a smile. This made me late home on a few occasions, but it had a huge positive impact on my care and my morale. This year I pledged to donate blood and last week I did it!! Other people have pledged not to send emails on a Wednesday and phone people instead. They are small changes but with the potential to make a big impact. On a larger level, at the East Midlands Central event, we concentrated on dementia.

My last two years are been absolutely amazing; everything started with a little change I made at work following an email from the communications teams telling us about Change Day. That was in January 2013 - I never could have predicted the successful chain of events that followed. It has been a mind-blowing journey.

NHS Change Day has definitely changed my life and has put the fire back onto my belly. It can happen to you. Why wait? Do small change now. Visit the NHS Change Day website at http://www.changeday.nhs.uk  to find out more.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has”

Margaret Mead