Shared learning database

London Borough of Bromley
Published date:
December 2013

A ninety minute lunchtime learning seminar was organised to raise awareness about the use of NICE guidance and resources within a local authority setting. Through an interactive format of presentations and small discussion groups we aimed to engage with local authority colleagues and provide a wider understanding of NICE's role in supporting the local government agenda. The seminar included small discussion groups to encourage participants to think about and discuss how NICE guidance can be used in the local planning and commissioning processes, focussing on three specific pieces of relevant Public Health guidance.

Guidance the shared learning relates to:
Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives

The long-term aim of this initiative is to develop and embed a culture of evidence-based practice within the local authority. The objective of this 'Growing your knowledge' lunchtime learning seminar was to enhance awareness about the use of NICE guidance and resources within the local authority setting. We wanted to engage with managers and staff across a range of local authority services, extending this beyond adult social care and children's services where we knew knowledge about NICE guidance existed. One of our key objectives was therefore to encourage attendance by colleagues from the Environment and Community services directorate where we thought there might be less awareness about using NICE guidance in the planning and development of services. A further objective was to use the workshop to raise awareness about the range of resources provided by NICE and available via the NICE website.

Reasons for implementing your project

On 1 April 2013 NHS Bromley's Public Health team formally transferred into the Education, Care and Health Services directorate at the London Borough of Bromley. Joint working between Bromley Council and Bromley PCT (including Public Health) had been developing over a number of years and this facilitated the smooth transfer of Public Health into the local authority. We had been working to build relationships with local authority colleagues and to disseminate information about NICE and the use of NICE guidance in service development and planning. More recently we had identified some 'NICE champions' within the council; individuals who were interested in keeping up to date with NICE developments and news and share this with colleagues. However, we were aware that whilst some managers, particularly those working in social care and children's services, had some knowledge of NICE guidance, there were other services where knowledge was less widespread. With this in mind we set about developing a local interactive seminar to raise awareness about NICE guidance, increase people's knowledge and present some practical examples of NICE public health guidance relevant to local authority services.

How did you implement the project

A small task group was set up to organise the workshop and develop a programme. This included two members of the Public Health team (with a remit for evidence-based practice and audit) and a manager from the local authority's Strategic and Business Support division.

An agenda was set for a ninety minute interactive, learning seminar for managers and staff from across the London Borough of Bromley, to be held at lunchtime to minimise the impact on people's day to day jobs and to encourage attendance. A 'Growing your knowledge' brand was used to advertise the event as an opportunity for learning and this was advertised widely on the 'One Bromley' staff intranet site.

The event was held in one of the main council committee rooms in the Civic Centre, making it accessible for most staff. The room layout was designed to facilitate informal discussion and smaller group working. In total 21 people attended and the course organisers joined the small groups to facilitate discussions. A display stand was used to publicise information about NICE guidance, quality standards, NICE pathways and other resources. Public health briefings for local government were also displayed.

The event was hosted by the Associate Director (Public Health), who also introduced the speakers and facilitated the feedback session at the end of the event. The agenda is attached to this submission as supporting documentation. Each of the presentations was followed by a brief period for questions and discussion.

Following the presentations, participants worked together for around 40 minutes in three smaller groups to discuss implementation of three specific pieces of NICE public health guidance, summarised to focus on key recommendations Guidance used was:
- PH8 Physical activity and the environment
- PH20 Social and emotional wellbeing in secondary education
- PH29 Preventing unintentional injuries in under 15s
The small group work was followed by a short feedback session where each group was asked to highlight three key issues that arose during their discussions about implementing the guidelines.

Key findings

An evaluation form was given to participants at the end of the workshop to ask for feedback on the following:
- Whether participants felt their knowledge had 'grown'?
- Whether participants felt they would be able to apply what they had learned in their job/service?
- Which aspects of the workshop had been most and least useful?
- Which topics might feature in future workshops?
- What other support would help participants to implement NICE guidelines in their jobs/service?
- Other comments and suggestions
15 participants (out of 21) completed the evaluation form and all said the workshop had helped them 'grow' their knowledge about NICE guidance. A number of participants highlighted aspects of NICE guidance that they wanted to know more about including:
- Adult social care and learning difficulties
- NICE support for commissioning
- Using NICE guidance to support workforce training and development
- Older adults and dementia

A number of participants said that they had found the break-out discussions particularly helpful and several suggested further workshops based on a particular theme or topic. The majority of participants said they had found it interesting to learn more about NICE guidance and had enjoyed meeting colleagues from other parts of the local authority.

Those attendees who indicated that they were interested in specific information were followed up within approximately 2 weeks of the workshop. As a result of this the number of local authority 'NICE champions' was increased and now covers the following areas:
- Workforce development and training
- Environmental services
- Education and care services

Following the success of this event we plan to run further topic/theme-based NICE workshops three times a year, the first of which is being planned for March 2014 and will cover Older Adults and Dementia.

We will continue to evaluate each event to ensure these meet the needs of staff working in the local authority and to identify new or additional requirements for learning and support. We will also be considering how we can evidence the use of NICE guidance within local services. We hope to develop this work using our NICE 'champions' located in the council's main directorates and through the role of Public Health consultants and senior managers who attend monthly departmental managers? meetings.

Key learning points

- Partnership working between Public Health and other Local Authority colleagues is essential in the planning and implementation of local NICE learning events, to ensure they meet the needs of staff working across a range of council services.
- Liaise with colleagues working in training/workforce development. Using existing staff development and training programmes (including accreditation) to deliver workshops can be an effective way to maximise staff interest and participation in these events.
- Incorporate practical examples of how NICE guidance has been used in the development of local strategies, policies and pratice; ensure that 'real-life' examples can be cited.
- Consider developing local 'branding' for NICE learning events and using the organisation's staff communication mechanisms (i.e. intranet) to advertise these widely and in an eye-catching way. The development of the 'Grow your knowledge' brand in Bromley will enable us to advertise future workshops and events under this brand, encouraging recognition and engagement with this.
- Maintain an attendance register and contact sheet for each event so that key staff members can be identified and follow-up support can be offered.
- Provide an evaluation form to collect feedback from participants and to identify staff needs with regard to future learning events or other support.
- Limit attendance so that staff have an opportunity to network and so that feedback from break-out groups can be presented in the limited time available.
- Set some key questions to facilitate discussion about how NICE guidance can be used to plan and develop services.
- Follow up contact with attendees who have expressed interest in other topics promptly while the seminar is still fresh in people's minds.

Contact details

Janine Peters
Research and Effectiveness Co-ordinator, Public Health
London Borough of Bromley

Social services
Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?