8" x 10", coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbookYesterday I spent the morning at an event in the Great Hall at Barts Hospital providing patient feedback on their handling of improvements to their Outpatient Appointments Service. After lunch I walked down Old Bailey and across Blackfriars Bridge to the Bankside Gallery to see the Spring Exhibition of the Royal Watercolour Society
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The NHS is rather good at implementing new computer systems that don't work well to start with. You'd think that after c.40 years the NHS would have learned a few lessons about systems implementation and what not to do. Sadly that didn't seem to be the case in April 2008 when chaos descended upon Barts Outpatients Service as they implemented a new system which was obviously not ready to go live in terms of staff capacity, training and functionality. No beta testing with real staff, no parallel running - they just dived straight in!
In the past I've managed support services which have included both the implementation of new IT systems and the complaints function and I'm a huge advocate of making a complaint if something is not working. No manager is ever going to be able to fix a system properly if they never get to hear what it's like from a customer/patient/client perspective.
copyright Katherine TyrrellSo - I duly made a complaint about system performance last year - and it was very nice to get invited to an event at Barts yesterday which was focused on telling patients what had happened since April to improve the system and asking us what we'd like to see happen to make it a first class service. We managed to come up with a few ideas! The one I liked best was the notion of printing a map of how to locate a clinic in the hospital on the back of the appointment letter! (Due to the fact that the Barts and the London Trust has never devoted enough priority or spent enough money on adequate signage for patients!)
One of the real benefits for me of the visit to Barts was getting to walk up the very grand stairs to the Great Hall which has the most amazing (and enormous!) murals by William Hogarth.
The Pool of Bethesda (1736)
William Hogarth’s paintings on the staircase of the North Wing depict the Biblical stories of the Good Samaritan and Christ healing the Lame Man at the Pool of Bethesda, with the people in the paintings said to be modelled on real patients.The afternoon was then spent at the Bankside Gallery viewing the latest exhibition by Members and Associate Members of the Royal Watercolour Society. You can read a review of the exhibition on Making A Mark which I'm writing straight after I've posted this post!
Barts and the London NHS Trust
All the walls in the sketch at the top are in fact white - but the reception area when viewed from the end of the gallery is quite luminous and has an amazing combination of coloured whites which are most attractive to view - and to sketch.
The figure behind the desk is Frank Kiely RE, who is an award-winning printmaker (producing mostly screenprints) and a member of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers. He's also an amazingly helpful chap and we had a very nice discussion yesterday about how to get your (my!) head around linocutting!
Frank also told me that there are going to be a number of print-making demonstrations at the Gallery associated with the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers Annual Exhibition 2009 which runs from Friday 8th May to Sunday 7th June 2009 - of which more details later.