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Primary Care

Malling Health

Malling Health fully prepared when COVID-19 hit 

Malling Health, an organisation of GP practices and Urgent Care and out of hours services, is spread across the country with nearly 300 staff. Joanne Howard takes the position of Director of Nursing and Quality and has worked at Malling Health for two and a half years. She realised the potential of Radar for the organisation as more than a place to store documents and policies, so went about successfully shifting the culture towards using Radar every day. 

Radar is part of everyday working life for every single member of staff

Joanne Howard, Director of Nursing and Quality

When COVID hit

12 months prior to COVID-19, Malling Health setup Radar so it was already in a good place to help them cope with the pandemic. 

In the healthcare environment, COVID guidance rapidly changed and staff quickly realised that in order to keep on top of this, they needed to use the notice feature on Radar. They knew that these notices only came from Joanne, enabling them to prioritise these. Joanne could then see that people were reading these notices and soon had no need to phone up staff to check. 

We had to make sure everyone had the right information they needed, and there was only one way we were going to do that; Radar

Joanne Howard, Director of Nursing and Quality

Before Radar, it could be months until responses were received from communications to staff. When Radar was promoted internally in the organisation, a notice sent out would be read by at least 90% of staff the same day. This huge change made Joanne’s job of keeping on top of compliance across the locations much easier, but also the assurance that staff had what they needed to keep themselves and patients safe. 

Favourite features

Joanne explained that it was fabulous to have a central place to store all documents and policies, and that she can access these anywhere on her phone, tablet or laptop. It’s useful for staff to know that the version they are using on Radar is the most recent, they can see when it was updated and why. This makes version control much easier. 

Incident reporting is vital for many healthcare organisationsMalling Health recognised this and so recently held a user group feedback session to get the most out of Radar. The response was that the forms Malling Health created some years ago were confusing, so they resolved the issue by creating one simple form with Radar’s easy to use form builder feature. The feedback after 24 hours was that it was much easier. This followed on to simpler monthly reporting for NHS commissioners and the executive board to inform them of incidents, actions, complaints, claims and compliments. The new form also encouraged staff to report more compliments which is helping boost engagement and morale. 

The favourite feature of Radar for Joanne is the notices. She can share the monthly newsletter through Radar instead of printing and posting it, and also send out communications of good news storiesFurthermore, she can tailor messages to specific staff roles such as only GPs or only nurses. Joanne has also seen a culture change where managers are using Radar to create internal notices for their own teams. 

Radar has given assurance that we wouldn’t have otherwise; an overarching view of all services without even needing to leave the door

Joanne Howard, Director of Nursing and Quality

Assurance is a huge benefit for Malling Health; when a communication is sent out, staff members click to confirm that they’ve read it. There is also the assurance that services are practising safely, and because compliments can be tracked on Radar, they can see that patients are getting a good experience. 

Lessons learnt

Everyone absolutely praised the use of Radar

Joanne Howard, Director of Nursing and Quality

After the peak of COVID, Malling Health carried out a survey to see what staff thought went well and what didn’t. They discovered that staff thought communication was by far what worked best, and absolutely praised Radar for it. They knew everything was in one place and didn’t need to check different websites to find relevant updates.

Radar is our intranet – staff can find everything at their fingertips in one place

Joanne Howard, Director of Nursing and Quality

However, communication was also the topic most brought up as what didn’t go well. Staff received communications from various sources such as NHS commissioners, and internally. In the first couple of weeks, everyone realised that the duplication was coming from everyone else and realised they could simply use Radar and not worry about the rest. This meant that a negative was turned into a positive very quickly with the help of Radar. 

Making the most of Radar going forwards

One feature of Radar that Malling Health don’t yet use but are excited to is the risk register. At the moment they still use excel, but by the end of this year are planning on having their board assurance framework on Radar! 

Radar as a company are super responsive with any questions or changes

Joanne Howard, Director of Nursing and Quality