NHS England has overhauled digital change management with Change Awards as Jooli Atkins, change management lead for digital partnering at NHS England, developing product implementation and relationship management (PIRM) as the NHS moves towards human-led technology change.
Atkins successfully initiated a shadowing and buddying approach that resulted in the team growing in both confidence and competence. By December 29th, they brought in 135 engagements to 42 trusts as well as 23 OCRA’s and trained more than 200 staff in NHS trusts.
Team working has been a particular success by creating a collaborative and supportive ethos with significant learning opportunities, creating a positive impact on frontline workers. This approach saw Atkins win the CA ’23 Best Capability Builder-Public Sector award.
The initiative focused on human-led technology change which has shifted PIRM from technical implementation to change management, which was quite a different approach. This involved tailored training based on the job role as well as operational change associated with workforce planning and utilisation.
The primary aim was to introduce a change management support offer to enable an organisational transformation for Hospital Trusts by implementing Electronic Patient Records that cover the key activities in the trust. The initiative was part of NHS England’s frontline digitisation programme to digitise healthcare operations like billing, patient administration and booking services.
Jooli Atkins, Change management lead for digital partnering at NHS England commented: "Winning the first Change Award for Best Capability Builder Public Sector has affirmed that what we do matters and makes a real difference to the people in Health and Care organisations. It has increased the team’s visibility and credibility in the organisation, raising our profile to give us greater influence with the Programmes we work with; opening doors and minds to the power of change management to transform Health and Care organisations through people and processes supported by digital.”
Atkins developed two introductory training modules, where each team member was asked to prepare one section of a module at a time until they were comfortable enough to deliver the whole module. ‘Spotlight’ sessions were also introduced to encourage team members to research and present change management tools to inspire a safe learning environment. These sessions and training were recorded so that learning could be shared and to build support skills and knowledge development.
Margo Waldorf, Founder at Change Awards, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with the NHS to create positive changes within the industry. Change Awards was created to celebrate the change management industry, and to encourage professionals to showcase their achievements. We are thrilled to award Jooli Atkins with the Best Capability Builder award to celebrate the amazing work she has done and to highlight her commitment to the industry as well as to showcase the incredible impact that she has had within the NHS.”
In the course of a transformation initiative, Atkins discovered that people prefer to know a topic inside out before they feel comfortable enough to speak about it. Recognising this, giving sufficient time will help people get to that level of confidence in the future.
Atkins also found that she underestimated the amount of time and effort needed to influence and educate senior stakeholders. ‘Marketing’ activities were a key influence on stakeholders which lifted some of the resistance against the project.