In CHI, we are in the process of moving from a system comprising of three hospitals, with ageing infrastructure and distinct management structures, to a completely new state of the art, fully digital hospital and satellite centres, all governed by a single entity and staff. The challenges associated with this cannot be underestimated. However, in the realignment of prior structures and design of new comes enormous opportunity to completely rethink the way we approach care for children, and in particular how we continually improve that care. The origins of CHI’s current innovation structures arrived from two parallel pathways: planning the medical technology requirements of the new hospital and designing future structures for research and innovation. From the outset, the need for innovation on the journey to the new hospital has been recognised and supported by the CHI board and executive who have given considerable support to the establishment and facilitation of the CHI innovation team through funding from the Children’s Hospital Programme.
The work to date from the innovation team has revolved around two key areas: Application of innovation practice to address current and future service delivery challenges, and strategic planning for the future of Innovation activity at CHI, including development of this strategy. On the service delivery side, the team worked with CHI’s Chief Technology Officer to co-design a methodology for the development of service blueprints for the new hospital. This methodology incorporates elements of design and system thinking, adapting to the specific needs of healthcare as a complex adaptive system. During 2021, this methodology was used to develop a generic service blueprint for our future hospital wards, bringing together 25 multi-disciplinary ward staff from across our hospitals to design future ways of working through a series of innovation workshops, both virtual and in person. Additionally, during this period, a number of innovation workshops were rolled out across CHI employing play techniques, action learning methodologies and for remote work using virtual electronic whiteboards.
Throughout 2022 ongoing workshop activity surrounding the new hospital and future planning for innovation structures continues. In addition, the innovation team will introduce a programme to support staff applications for innovation funding calls. The foundation innovation strategy will be launched in May 2022 and implemented over the following years. As of May 2022, all innovation posts in CHI remain in place in a temporary capacity pending future planning of formal innovation structures.