Kings and shepherds

# MatExpAdvent-ures Day 21

In #MatExp, we do our best to ensure that there are no kings and no shepherds. No hierarchy. Just people.

People ask me to explain why I first created Whose Shoes. I used to have a long explanation. Now it is just one word: frustration

I was frustrated that people at the top of the organisation were standing on soapboxes saying, in a louder and louder voice, that everyone needed to engage with the new agenda. Personalisation. Transformation. Listening! But they were not listening. They were not realising the knowledge and expertise of people sitting in the room. And even more so, people who never got a chance to enter the room.

The concept of listening to all perspectives was born. And in particular, creating the conditions whereby people felt relaxed enough to be able to speak honestly and openly. And to contribute ideas! πŸ’‘πŸ’‘πŸ’‘

After all, who doesn't like a bit of cake? πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ°

I honestly hadn't realised what a hierarchical organisation the NHS can be. I heard tales of people being excluded from a meeting because it was a band 7 meeting and they were only a band 6. Shock! Horror! Probe!

It has felt completely normal to see the Chief Executive sitting alongside members of staff at all levels in the organisation engaging with women who use their maternity services. But it seems this is actually very innovative!

And leads to some incredible outcomes.

I was interested in the whole concept of coproduction and recognising that everybody has a contribution to make. This film is brilliant: https://youtu.be/egav5xjb-lg

We have held #MatExp #WhoseShoes workshops in hospitals all across London. I loved an extra tweak that St Thomas's Hospital introduced. Stop! Leave your NHS badges at the door. Perfect! πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ½

It has been fascinating for people to realise that they are not 'service users' and 'health professionals'. Many of the health professionals are also… parents, sisters, uncles.... discovering a shared humanity is deeply empowering.

#ThoughtDiversity in action!

You can watch a film of this workshop in action here.

The #MatExp concept has been very popular, spreading like wildfire on social media

We (#MatExp) have now had over 280 million Twitter impressions. That is a lot‼️πŸ’₯πŸš€

And it has been heartening to see the fantastic range of people, with widely different roles, joining the community.

And the constant injection of new ideas, such as #MatExp ABC, 'Flaming June and #MatExpOnTour have meant that the momentum has continued.

As a result of the work we were doing with #MatExp, the Executive Team at Kingston Hospital invited us to develop bespoke material to apply the #WhoseShoes concept to patient experience across the hospital. Check out #KHFTWhoseShoes. We have already run sessions around administration and operating theatres. It is amazing to cut across silos and see everyone sitting around a table talking to each other and planning how they can work together to improve services. Feedback so far is good and there are some really positive actions. We are looking forward to running further sessions in 2016 and drawing in an even wider group of people.

So a lot has happened since last year when the #MatExp baby went off to school and Flo and I waited like anxious mothers outside the gates of West Middlesex hospital: the third London pilot and the first one when neither of us was present.

2015 has been an incredible year of collaboration. A year of coming together as equals and JFDI-ing it. Anyone can be a leader. Anyone can make a difference. We don't wait to ask for permission.

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