GHFT - Learning from Excellence

Background & Problem

Safety in healthcare has traditionally been focused on avoiding harm by learning from error and whilst excellence is widely prevalent, there has been no formal process to capture it. Learning from Excellence was first implemented at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2014 by Adrian Plunkett a Consultant Paediatric Intensivist. Learning from Excellence not only provides learning opportunities but can also build upon staff/team morale and resilience through appreciation and recognition of good and excellent work carried out on a day to day basis.


Staff within the Department of Critical Care (DCC) will feel that their excellent work is recognised, shared and used to inform clinical practice. This will enable us to improve the safety and quality of our work and help staff to feel valued which, in turn, will improve morale. To promote Learning from Excellence throughout the Trust and provide a reporting system and other tools to support its implementation.


The Model for Improvement was used for this project. Small tests of change were used through PDSA cycles.

PDSA 1: A positive online reporting system – Datix decided to be the most appropriate system

PDSA 2: Worked with Datix administrator to determine the requirements and capabilities of the system- short easy form.

PDSA 3: Liaised with stakeholders to promote positive reporting.

PDSA 4: Developed SOP’s and worked with early adopters.

PDSA 5: Emails through Datix to reference and sign post resources


Learning from Excellence is gaining momentum throughout the Trust and is being used within DCC to inform and share best practice.


Learning from things that go well is a valuable tool to improve practice and enhance staff experience.

Investigating LfE reports is an additional workload that can be challenging to manage for investigators

Each area will need to designate an appropriate staff member to take a lead on this

Staff have been reported for their excellent work by other members of the team however, due to the workload of line managers, they may not receive a recognition from them or a thank you.

There is more work required to embed this within the wider Trust.

Quality Improvement Presenter(s)

Rebecca Offord – Matron for Critical Care

Nicky Cantrill – Senior Sister for Critical Care

Quality Improvement Team

Caroline Cooke – Sister

Leta Beard – Datix Systems Administrator

Andrew Seaton – Director for Safety


  • Acute
  • Leadership and Management
  • Leadership and Management > Quality and Performance
  • Leadership and Management > Quality and Performance > QI
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce > Valuing your staff
  • Commissioning and Procurement > Fabulous Stuff
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