Ryan Hunneman - Specialist Practice Coach
Q1: How long have you been working with the Service Improvement team?
I have been working in the NHS since 2008. I started working for the Service Improvement Team as a Project Support Manager for a few years before moving on to work in Operational Management roles in numerous departments around the organisation, mostly within the Medical Specialties before coming back to the Service Improvement team about three years ago.
Q2: What other experience have you had working in the NHS?
I have worked in the Emergency Department where I was the Service Line Manager which at the time also covered the Medical and Surgical Assessment Units.
I have worked in a number of medical specialities including Respiratory, General Medicine, Health Care for the Elderly, and Diabetes and Endocrinology. I have also worked for the Gastroenterology department as a Support Manager which also covered the Endoscopy Unit, Nephrology and Hepatology departments.
Q3: Can you list your relevant qualifications;
- I have a degree in psychology.
- Prince2 Practitioner qualification.
- MSP – Managing Successful Programmes qualification.
- PMI – Process Management International (yellow belt).
- PenCHORD – Healthcare Services Modelling Associate.
Q4: What do you enjoy most about Improvement Practice or working with the SI team?
I really enjoy being able to help people to work more efficiently wherever possible. I have a lot of respect for all the teams working with and for our patients on a daily basis, who are typically doing the best they can with what they have; so any way in which I can help teams or departments identify how to deliver care more effectively makes me happy. Working in the NHS at the moment for a lot of people is very difficult and demanding, so any way that I can help people do their job easier, faster or more efficiently gives me a lot of job satisfaction. Healthcare is very important to each person individually and through family or loved ones, we will all need Healthcare services at a number of points in our lives and, perhaps rather selfishly, I would like this to be as good as it can be when it comes to treating the people I care about most.
Q5: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the NHS in the next 5 years?
Within the next five years I believe that one of the main challenges facing Healthcare will be to catch up with the technology that is available in other sectors. Using technology in a smart and practical way can be an incredibly efficient means to help deliver any service efficiently; and with the increasing demands and challenges facing the NHS I believe this will be an inevitable requirement to maintain an effective and sustainable service for our population.
I also believe that there needs to be a large focus on reducing waste and rework within any and all services that we deliver for people. While we have a large number of things to be proud about within the NHS, everyone can improve. I am also confident that, at an individual level, we can all list a number of things that we encounter on a regular basis that seems wasteful and/or inefficient; and cumulatively this drain on people’s time and energy takes away from how well we deliver care to people.
Q6: What work have you been involved in recently, and what work are you most proud of?
I have been involved in a lot of work recently centred on discharging patients effectively, particularly with regards to how well we discharge patients who are considered to be more vulnerable and demanding of services. Working with the discharge teams over the last year or so has been very challenging, but also rewarding, particularly as we have managed to reduce on a larger scale the number of unnecessary delays for patients who require discharge into Community-based Health and Social Care services. The changes made to the Complex Discharge process has had a direct and measurable impact on patient delays and I feel that everyone involved in this work can be proud of these recent achievements.
More recently I have been involved with helping inpatient areas develop more electronic referral processes, with the aim to reduce and eliminate wherever possible more cumbersome and liable paper-based methods. This has been particularly focused on improving the speed and efficiency of areas requesting urgent opinions and interventions from other Specialist departments. This is a vast improvement on outdated processes and has a direct impact on faster and more efficient patient care.
I have also been working with the Operations Management team, Performance and IT teams to look at how we can use systems and technology to help clinicians easily identify when tasks and requests have been completed for patients; with the aim to reducing the overall time it takes to provide ward based care and discharge.
Q7: What are your aspirations for the organisation, in terms of improvement practice, over the next two or so years?
I am very excited to be a part of the ‘People First Programme’ and I believe that this will help to provide staff and teams with the tools and resources to identify areas for improvement within their own departments, and also provide the skills and opportunity to lead improvement work within their own areas. I hope that within the next two years we will have an ‘organisation of improvers’ who are actively involved at each staff group level with directly improving how we can care for our patients.