Making sure patients have a positive experience is of utmost importance to North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, with a positive patient experience every time being one of the key principles of the NCIC way.

To enhance the patient feedback loop already in place, where the patient experience team receive a lot of feedback, patient story boards have been introduced to chart the patient’s journey which considers a range things such as confidence and trust, feeling safe, noise at night and thoughts about the people caring for them.

The feedback received is displayed in the relevant area and is used by the teams to make improvements to the care provided.

Click here to find out more...

The Staff Wellbeing Hub’s new online Wellbeing Toolkit offers everything you need to pause and take care of yourself, whether you have a minute or an hour to spare.

Choose from a range of carefully curated videos and resources, grouped by how you may be feeling or what you might need in the moment.

For example, if you’ve been feeling anxious and breathless, take a short break to try this 9-minute breathing exercises video:

NHS Find Your Place
, which promotes the North East and North Cumbria as the best place to live, train and work, was awarded WINNER of the NHS Communications Initiative of the Year category at the HSJ Awards on 17th March.

Traditionally, the North East and North Cumbria has struggled to recruit enough medical trainees. In 2015, organisations in the region launched Find Your Place to promote the area as the best place to live, train and work. Since then fill rates have improved from 76% in 2015/16 to 95.6% in 2020/21. The campaign is built on insights to influence trainees to step out of their comfort zone and head north for unrivalled training and lifestyle experiences. Its bold and collaborative approach shares stories from those who have ‘found their place’; proving to others what the region already knows that #itscannyupnorth!

The judges said:

"This is a longer-term campaign with demonstrable outcomes, clearly evidencing that successful collaboration brings results. The creation of a sense of belonging and pride has been a cornerstone of this campaign’s success. The judges felt that the time taken to understand the audience and secure their involvement in providing insight, helping to generate and create campaign material has truly paid dividends. Other parts of the country would do well to learn from what this campaign has achieved."

We would like to wish a huge congratulations to everyone involved!

To find out more about all the winners and finalists, please visit the HSJ Awards website, and be sure to take a look at the Project Showcase to find out more about some of the fantastic work happening up and down the country.

The HSJ Patient Safety Awards are still open for entries! The deadline is on 16th April 2021, so there is still time to submit your projects.


By Rachael Davies, Continuous Improvement & Development Manager at NCIC and CLIC Associate

Without reflection pieces of our experience are inevitably lost, resulting in challenges being unresolved, inefficiencies repeated and lessons learned not applied.

At the end of last year I facilitated an After Action Review Workshop with clinical and digital teams, and the energy in the room was amazing, participants were really engaged and open to exploring lessons learned. This experience prompted me to reflect on the power of this simple tool, when I was asked to write this month’s blog I decided that AAR was worth a revisit.

So what is it? After Action Review is an effective means to encourage the continuous learning required to bring about positive change in the way we deliver healthcare.

The AAR process is built around 4 questions:

  • What was expected to happen?
  • What actually happened?
  • Why was there a difference?
  • What has been learned?

It is the shared narrative of what happened provided in answer to these questions which is of importance, rather than the final outcome of the action being reviewed. An understanding of how the process works is essential, the facilitator is crucial to ensuring that the participants understand what is expected of them at each stage of the review. Creating a safe space at the start of the review by agreeing ground rules which set the tone for how the group will work together will help to encourage participation and enable issues to be raised. During the course of the review participants will share key insights in to the process and agree learning points which will enable them to collectively learn from the reflection.

If you would like to know more about AAR, please click here to go to the relevant section of our Cumbria Production System (CPS) Toolkit.

And here's a short video 'After Action Reviews: Elephant in the room?' by Rapid Start Leadership outlining the approach to AAR:

The NHS People Plan 2020/2021 outlines that from September 2020, every member of the NHS should have a health and wellbeing conversation and develop a personalised plan. 

NHS Employers have worked in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop the following resources to support employers in having wellbeing conversations:

  • a PowerPoint about implementing wellbeing conversations 
  • an animation to support and guide line managers through wellbeing conversations:


  • a three minute staff experience video on how wellbeing conversations helped them personally and why they are important:


  • a two minute staff experience video on how wellbeing conversations helped them personally and why they are important:


Find out more here...