Friday 30th September 2016
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2016
How MQuISS® and the Improvement Team have progressed, and plans for a combined framework going forward
Before 2012, Macmillan did not have a way to make sure that whenever and wherever someone accessed our information and support services, their experience would be of the highest quality. Of course impressive work was taking place all over the UK. But could we stand up when asked to prove our effectiveness and provide evidence of the difference we made? The introduction of a new set of Quality Standards for Information and Support Services (MQuISS®) made that possible. MQuISS® set a benchmark and provided a structure within which all services could strive to achieve continuous quality improvement.
Implementing MQuISS® would not be straightforward. Macmillan professionals are often pulled in many different directions and time is a precious resource. The services that proudly display the Macmillan logo vary in size, type and setting. Each faces different challenges every day.
Macmillan’s approach was to provide extra support to the professionals managing our services. This was done by investing in an Improvement Team, who could provide tailored support for services working through MQuISS®. The team could also help share good practice and make links between services across the UK. They could provide the resources and tools that would make continuous quality improvement possible.
The Improvement Team was formed in April 2013. Since then, we have been working with our professionals to make this ambition a reality. We have visited individual services and held workshops to bring MQuISS® to life. Webinars have helped new managers understand the process. Partnerships with geographic teams have been strengthened. We have developed resources, templates, tools and guidance for all aspects of service delivery. We have worked with colleagues across Macmillan to test new approaches, and helped to deliver successful conferences bringing the information and support community together. Plus, we have stopped to enjoy a coffee in all corners of the UK, from Scotland to Northern Ireland, from Cornwall to Newcastle.
Since 2013 we have seen 97% of services engage with MQuISS®. For those that have self-assessed multiple times, 87% have shown significant improvement when measured against the standards. While these scores are encouraging in themselves, sitting behind them are thousands of people affected by cancer, able to access the highest quality support. But quality isn’t something that is achieved and then put on a shelf to enjoy. It is a philosophy and an approach which is ongoing and continuous.
Bringing quality standards together
Macmillan aims to embed the idea of continuous quality improvement into every service it develops, as well as making sure that existing services are achieving their full potential for the people that need them. We are working to bring together the different quality standards that currently exist into a combined framework. This will truly represent what quality means to all of us, and what someone affected by cancer can expect when they see that green Macmillan badge, sign or lanyard.
Macmillan Improvement Adviser Team Lead (Information and Support)