The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) comprises of specially recruited and trained personnel who provide the ambulance response to particularly hazardous or challenging incidents and in some cases where there is a mass casualty incident. Rigorous selection and training together with psychological profiling and team typing during its formation led to a successful launch across England in 2008 with HART Wales following in 2012. . Benefits of innovation and change in an organization. Improvement in service. A new team was formed with the vision to provide care to patients where they fall, traditionally ambulance clinicians had not been able to access them and relied on other services to do this. To achieve this a new team was necessary. The knowledge and skills of the team was enhanced and new PEE, safe systems of work and extended clinical skills were adopted, resulting in potential improvements in patient outcome.
Staff Development Team based thinking was pivotal in allowing these clinicians are able to access casualties and provide timely responses to life threatening conditions. The project has presented new challenges and opportunities for those clinicians recruited, with the team ethos providing an environment where members are encouraged to develop. This has included appointment of team champions who show an interest in a particular area being given extra training and asked to cascade their knowledge throughout the team.
This way team members are given ownership of their development, benefiting the individual and the team as a whole. As a part of the Rota the team are allocated 1 week of training every 6 weeks which is Regular formal training sessions both internally and externally provide opportunity for members to continually develop their knowledge and skills. Team members have been encouraged to take part in formal higher education with several of them studying for degrees with assistance from their line manager with the provision of study time and resources and mentors. 1. Benefits of innovation and change in an organization. (Cont’d. ) Enhanced Public Perception. A committed team of well trained professionals helps to project a positive view of the Ambulance service both to the public and other emergency services. HART has been requested to attend many open days and multi agency exercises where they have demonstrated innovative team working coupled with state of the art technology to carry out their roles in challenging environments. The team is well motivated and committed to providing excellent standards of service even under difficult circumstances.
This was displayed during the harsh winter of 2012 where due to snow disrupting infrastructure the team provided a resilient service including transporting staff to and from their work places and accessing patients where ambulances were unable to reach. Often throughout this period, long shift overruns were incurred with no complaint and with the teams returning to work on their next shift with minimal time to rest. This resilience helped to maintain the public perception of the Ambulance service during this difficult time.
A section of a letter of thanks is appended below from the Executives and Heads of Service. Mice Asians (WAS Interim Chair) interviewed in Waist’s Siren magazine replies to the question. What message do you have for staff? “l understand that people have been through almost constant change in recent mimes and they will perhaps be concerned to hear that there is more to come. I know that whilst some people will welcome it, for others, change can be difficult…… My plea is that people work together to embrace change for the greater good, rather than try to fight it for personal reasons. So what are some of the possible barriers to change and innovation in the workplace? Lack of awareness and knowledge of the change that is coming is important. Staff may be resistant to change due to a fear of the unknown, if the relevance of change and the reasons behind it have not communicated successfully to them. This knowledge of change and the reason for it needs to be accompanied by the provision of skills and equipment needed to facilitate the change. Lack of motivation can impact change negatively, with external factors such as regulation and penalties acting to denominate service providers.
Internal factors such as a lack of desire to improve and low self motivation in under valued staff will be a barrier to successful change. Those who are affected directly by change may believe that their Job maybe at risk or that a new place of work will be less favorable. A new way of working may make staff eel their autonomy is being undermined. This uncertainty may present as resistance to change. It can be difficult to see the benefit or relevance of innovation when a system appears to have been functioning acceptably for a period of time.
Kurt Lenin suggests that successful change in an organization takes 3 steps: Unfreeze, Change and Refreeze. At the outset recruits to HART were asked to actively engage, completing a questionnaire and researching the role independently before submitting their application. Prospective applicants were asked to research using the HART website ND resources found there including: The drivers for the HART project. Application/interview processes and time frames. A period of unfreezing of old practices and skills was necessary to appreciate the role fully.
A rigorous selection process follows so those unsure of their suitability are asked further questions. Also it was advertised that a base station within 45 minutes of Cardiff was envisaged however an exact location was not specified. An applicant frozen in their career may have been unwilling/ unable to change base stations or commit to the application/ training phases. This voluntary process of change to the status quo needed to be accepted prior to application. This style of recruitment requires the individual to look closely at the role of HART operatives and the new systems of work expected of them.
As an applicant I felt extremely well informed by the availability, quality and variety of information prior to my application. It was evident that the planning for this style of application had been carried out very effectively. With resources well sign posted and easily accessed. The HART project lead was also approachable and easily contactable, with offers of assistance if required. The refreezing then took place during the many and varied sections of training provided prior to “Going Live. The three phases of change will need to employ techniques to overcome barriers to change. These included the provision materials to promote and educate service providers about the change. Techniques could included organizing visits to existing teams, workshops, training courses and lectures these were used to educate staff about the latest developments. Regular feedback about performance set against national standards and targets can encourage change, if staff believe they are not alone and are part of a larger positive movement for change this can beneficial.
HART uses a national IT system that encompasses training, operational incident logs, asset management and CAP. The integrity of the information about change is important, an individual feeling that the information provided has integrity will be more likely to act upon it and engage in the process of change. 2. 1 Planning, monitoring review techniques. Planning of change and innovation could include the following techniques. A Gaunt chart is a useful tool to aid planning/ monitoring. It details the activities on reflects the start date, duration and end date.
Approximate start, duration and end timings can be useful during the planning phase, also the progress of activities according to timescale can be monitored. Another useful planning tool is the SMART action plan used to ensure that the change or innovation is focused and fulfils the specified criteria against a set of objectives. The criteria are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Collection of performance data and comparison against national, local figures could also provide good insight as to whether change has been successful and aid in it’s monitoring and review. Currently we input operational incident data into a system which allows the compilation of reports, filtering information to monitor required criteria. The information shown here compares the total incidents for 2 HART units over a 12 month period and provides break downs of each incident type. ) 2. 2 Explain why communication is important to ensure change and innovation is successful in an organization. McLeod and Clarke in their report on employee engagement 2009 states; ” Engagement is about establishing mutual respect in the workplace for what people can do and be….. T is our firm belief that it can be a triple win: for the individual at Communication is a part of the solution to overcoming the barriers to change. Engagement throughout the communication, consultation, planning and implementation stages is paramount for this to be achieved. If individuals feel they are being left out of the processes, they are not a part of the channels of communication involved in any innovation this may lead to negative feelings. Where there is little information or conversation, speculation and suspicion may begin.
This will generally not be positive and could be a further barrier to change. Resistance to change can be due to poor communication with those involved. It is important to communicate effectively the reason for change, possible solutions and implications. By ensuring this is an open two way conversation individuals are given the opportunity to deal with any issues and can be involved in the whole process of change. This engagement through communication can only improve the chances of successful innovations and change and is crucial to any organization looking to innovate.
HART Wales encourages regular two way conversations between staff, team leaders and managers with 1-1 meetings scheduled every 7 weeks and Pad’s twice yearly, this format allows information to flow efficiently through the organizational structure. The Kibble Ross Change curve can help predict some of the human consequences of change. The stages are: Manifestation Denial Acceptance Development Application The Kibble Ross curve suggests that change must begin with negative feelings from he out set however the human effects of change depend upon how the change has been implemented.
If the change has been a positive experience the individual may feel engaged, encouraged and on board with the process. If the individual or team has not felt that they have been engaged in the process then the change is likely to be unsuccessful with individuals at best refusing to change, at worst actively resisting and attempting to unbalance the whole process. The negative human effects of change on individuals and teams can include: Anxiety around Job retention and economic prospects for the future. Will I be