Everything is frenetic at the moment, and communicating improvement ideas can be difficult, let alone actioning them.

At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, Emergency Department, we’ve installed an “ideas box” in a very prominent place so that all members of staff (not just clinical) can pop ideas in the box.

We’ve made it clear we’re willing to accept any ideas – marginal gains are a really important part of a slow and steady improvement.

Once the ideas have been read, as many as possible are actioned.

If they’re not actioned, a clear explanation is given as to why.

We felt that even acknowledging the ideas we couldn’t do was really important to encourage further suggestions, and to acknowledge the contribution.

We’ve had a few really good suggestions – like implementing the “post resuscitation pause”, and a few suggestions that have highlighted things we didn’t know needed fixing – like the request for a paediatric pill cutter meant we realised the original had gone missing!

We’d like to think the cheerful and colourful ideas box has also helped bring a small spark of cheer into the department.

It’s in a staff only corridor, and has silver glittery wallpaper as its background, disney cut outs, and colourful card ideas.

The ideas box is a lightweight postbox (from Hobbycraft) decorated with glittery glue and sparkles. It’s eyecatching, and makes me a smile – and I think it makes the team smile!

The ideas box is simple, accessible, and has helped our department to work together, for their department, whilst increasing awareness of funding and policy restraints.

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