An Opportunity

Join a global learning community for accelerated development of skills in virtual collaboration for health and care improvement.

The NHS Horizons team is seeking to work intensively with 10 partner organisations or systems that want to commit to developing a high level of competence in virtual hosting and facilitation for improvement. They can be organisations that operate in a local area or at a regional or national

The partner organisations should be willing to:

  • Invest the time and effort to develop skills and confidence in virtual collaboration for improvement
  • Identify their own improvement priorities that would benefit from a virtual approach to collaboration for better, quicker outcomes
  • Identify key individuals to be trained as virtual hosts and facilitators
  • Take part in an assessment of their competencies in virtual collaboration at the end of the programme
  • Be part of a wider learning community and co-coach and support other teams that are developing these skills
  • Participate in the evaluation of the outcomes of the programme

What benefits will #VirtualCollaborate partners get?

The benefits that the partner organisations can expect from the #VirtualCollaboration programme

  • Enabling a much wider and more diverse group of people to be involved in activities for quality
  • Engaging patients, families and community leaders in ways that are less intimidating than going into
    healthcare building for meetings
  • Having more people owning the improvement effort right from the start, a wider range of ideas and
    higher levels of engagement
  • Building relationships, connections and trust more effectively than via telephone or other communication methods
  • Understanding when to use face-to-face and when to use virtual methods (and achieving better face-to-face meetings because the facilitation skills for virtual sessions also apply to face-to-face)
  • Knowing how to use virtual collaboration methods specifically in an improvement context (usually
    virtual collaboration skills are taught separately from improvement approaches)
  • Significantly lowering costs of connecting, slashing time and travel costs and reducing the need to
    abstract colleagues from their clinical duties for improvement meetings
  • Overcoming the negative impact on the environment of bringing people together physically.

How will it work?

The #VirtualCollaboration programme will be run on a virtual basis over four to six months, depending on how quickly partner organisations feel ready to show their competence through an assessment. The NHS Horizons team will ask each partner organisation to identify two people to be trained as virtual hosts (who manage all the background logistics of the virtual meeting) and three people to train as virtual facilitators (who lead and co-ordinate the live action of the meeting). The content will draw on NHS Horizons’ extensive practical experience in this area. We will provide virtual learning sessions for hosts and facilitators in the five areas of competency in our skills development model:

  • Technical agility
  • Set up and design
  • On-air presence
  • Engaging people for outcomes
  • Building a virtual improvement community.

In addition, we will provide one to one coaching and troubleshooting support as needed.

The learning outcomes we are seeking for our partners in #VirtualCollaborate:

  • How to plan an improvement initiative either on a fully virtual basis or as a combination of virtual and face-to-face
  • Core skills in hosting and facilitating virtual meetings for improvement
  • Familiarity with a range of powerful tools and facilitation techniques that can be used for virtual meetings
  • Understanding of the importance of various roles and the dynamics they play in virtual meetings
  • Skills and confidence to motivate your improvement community and engage all those involved for better outcomes; help groups take ownership for generating ideas, solve problems, agree direction and plan actions in the virtual space
  • What to do before, during and after your virtual meetings for optimal community engagement and experience and better outcomes.

Is there a cost?

The Horizons team will be offering the #VirtualCollaborate opportunity to partners on the basis of recovering our costs from doing this. This course will include:

  • Comprehensive training for two virtual costs and three virtual facilitators
  • Membership of the virtual community with other partners and the opportunity to learn together
  • One-to-one coaching and troubleshooting as required
  • A virtual assessment of competency to finish the programme and a certificate of competency
  • Availability of the Horizons team for up to six months afterwards to give you advice and guidance

In terms of making the case for participating in #VirtualCollaborate, we anticipate that a partner organisation would recover this cost within a single cycle of improvement activity, just through time and travel cost saved.

The training will take place on the Zoom platform and we will train the partner teams to work with Zoom. However, if the partner team already uses another system such as Adobeconnect or GoToMeeting, we can work with that. The training is suitable for any of the major platforms for virtual communities.

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