The Running Horse Group at the Health Foundation…!

Hi All

It’s been a long time since the Running Horse Group has been active. Life, as is said, can get the better of you!

Inspiring the child health workforce to deliver high quality services that delight children and families 

Since its inception, those involved the Running Horse Group have been passionate about improving the quality of care for children. However while social media and the digital era has made the world a much smaller place the ability to actually meet face-to-face seems to have become progressively harder.

The Health Foundation have kindly donated us a room in their Convent Garden offices on 25th May from Midday onwards. In conjunction with Dr. Susannah Pye (the National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow at the Health Foundation) we’ve put together a programme to consider the past, present and future role of the RHG. There will be presentations from the improvement team at the Health Foundation, with a specific look at what’s been happening across the UK in relation to paediatric services. It’s going to be an opportunity to explore what can be achieved as a network of professionals  interested in child health  focused on leadership and management.

If you are interested in attending please do e-mail me at This is an opportunity to step outside our hectic lives and take stock of bigger picture items which may be impacting on our services. Hopefully people will be able to stay around for evening drinks and food afterwards as well 🙂

All the best






Safer in our Hands event

On the 7th July the RCPCH are hosting an event to promote ‘real life’ quality improvement. You will have the change to take part in a virtual quality improvement exercise and pitch quality improvement ideas in a Dragon’s Den Event. There will be patient experience and parent perspectives as well.

Delegates will leave the conference with an understanding on:

  • how to introduce concepts of patient safety and QI in paediatrics and child health with a multidisciplinary, patient-centred focus
  • putting patient safety in paediatrics and child health in context with quality improvement
  • putting together a team and starting a QI project with a focus on improving patient safety
  • working with colleagues to create an aligned, patient-safety focussed QI structure, in line with the RCPCH QI Strategic Framework.

The conference will also provide delegates with an opportunity to learn about a number of local, regional and national quality improvement projects.

Delegates will hear from leading speakers in paediatric health QI, plus enjoy a choice of workshops, including:

  • Medication safety
  • Situation awareness
  • Engaging patients/families in improving care
  • Foundations of QI
  • Human factors in patient safety.

Poster competition
The conference also provides an opportunity for delegates to enter the Safer In Our Hands poster competition. Submitted posters should demonstrate locally developed and implemented quality improvement projects that have resulted in demonstrable improvements in safety.

Delegates wishing to enter a poster for the conference competition should submit an abstract to by Monday 13 June, and successful delegates will be notified by the end of that week if they have been successful.


Book via the RCPCH website 

“By the Banks of the River” RHG Meeting Review (23rd November 2015)

Thank you to all those who attended the recent get-together. It was a brilliantly diverse crowd ranging from paediatricians to technologists, and from parents to managers.

My sincere apologies as the following is not as comprehensive as it could (or should) have been but hopefully gives a sense of what was discussed and debated. It is clear to me other mechanisms need to be found of bringing people together and in the time available we didn’t have time to get to the thorny question of what is the RHG and how do we sustain it!

I am inspired (and a little bit humbled) by the closing comment of one of the participants though:

It is fantastic to see a group of people motivated to make the system better

Afternoon Meeting

This essentially involved a round robin of idea generation. Some of the themes:

A. Can and how do we use Big Data for patient experience?

B. How do we improve our interaction with our patients (on top of being better communicators). Can we crowd source technologies to improve this? Do we really understand how “apps” are utilised by patients/public?

C. Lack of Free Wifi: Is this because of a Bureaucracy or     Infrastructure deficit?

D. A guide to improving wifi – Hesham Abdulla discussed the outcome of this NHS Change Day project. Can the RHG produce a guide to help other trusts do this?

E. How do we give and share information with children, young people and parents in a meaningful way? (can we move beyond the paper information leaflet?

F. How do we test and adopt new technology without an increase in resource (time) and cost

G. How do you get people together to share ideas that don’t rely on them meeting each

H. How do we improve paper based observation

I. How do we apply healthcare business intelligence data in practice?

If the list above triggers ideas or suggestions please do get in touch! Ian Hennessy shared his experience of Alderhey’s recent Hack with MIT. While ‘hacks’ are all the rage the focused nature of this event with clear Chief Executive backing demonstrates what can be achieved in 36 hours.

Evening Meeting

This essentially focused on logic models and was skilfully facilitated by Bob Klaber. The discussion focused on patient experience and outcome and the experience of those parents of children with chronic and complex needs was very beneficial. Looking through the lens of “Avoiding unnecessary suffering or harm” appears to be a good way of determining the relevance of various facets of a model. Should all logic models be ‘visceral’ in their production?

There was some discussion on whether Right Place, Right Time and Right Person was meaningful. Should it be Equitable place, Safe time etc..

The UK and European model of paediatricians vs GPs vs Community Paediatricians was debated as was access to data. A great quote I heard from the #MedX conference was “why do cybercriminals have easier access to my data than I do

I asked people to sum up some of their learning or thoughts from the day. A selection of the quotes:

Makes me feel I really need to sort out the little things

Importance of story telling

Power of having non-clinicians in the room

The most authentic socialism I have come across

Sorry this is not a more detailed summary but at some point in the new year I will do a further call to find a mechanism to bring people together again to discuss objectives and strategy.

Thank you to IBM for hosting the afternoon event, Thinking of Oscar for assistance in organisation and all those who attended and contributed so enthusiastically!

All the best













Agenda for Rebooting RHG Event

Dear All

Please find rough agenda for the day (Monday November 23rd).

If you would like to come please fill your name in on the doodle poll – places still available!

Afternoon event (Inspiration and Innovation) from 2pm. This will be held at the IBM Southbank 

  • Welcome/Introductions – June Thomson (IBM)
  • Objectives/approach for the afternoon – Damian Roland
  • Crowdsourcing ideas / information sharing – All
  • Identifying outputs/actions – All
  • Close and relocate for evening dinner/drinks

Timings will be fluid but will include discussions on using enhanced analytics in healthcare and feedback on the Boston’s Childrens Innovation  Summit held last month.

Evening Event (Logic and Legitimacy) from 6pm. This will be at the Mulberrybush Pub 

  • Networking – All
  • Buffet (7pm)
  • State of the ‘nation’ – Damian Roland
  • Logic Models – Bob Klaber
  • The Future – Damian Roland 

There is no prescribed finish time but it will probably be around 9.30pm.

Please contact me for any further information!

We will be using #RHG15 on the day

Rebooting the Running Horse Group

First off an apology for the quiescent nature of blogs and output over the last year. Juggling numerous responsibilities and dealing with ever increasing service pressures I hope is not a unique experience.

However a meeting date has been set for the next RHG get together: November 23rd

The day will start at the IBM Southbank Centre from 2pm. Places will be limited for this phase of the day so if you can e-mail me to confirm asap I would appreciate it. There will be a few keynotes and opportunities to influence innovative work going on around the country.

In the evening there will be a working dinner with a chance to exchange thoughts and share some ideas. It’s fine just to join the evening event.

A lot has yet to be confirmed (including location for dinner) although I am aware no-one is interested in coming to another ‘talking shop‘. For those who have been involved in the RHG since its inception I think (hope!) the network has provided a safe and valuable space to discuss and debate. I’m probably not going out on a limb by guaranteeing if you have a problem we can find you someone who has solved it.

I also appreciate it is yet another London-centric event. Without a funding stream and a need for hosts willing to operate at no cost, with no guarantee of attendance, options are limited. I am always open to other suggestions for the future though!

Please save the date and further details will follow!

All the best


A Running Horse Re-boot….

The Running Horse Group had an inaugural meeting on the 6th July 2010 (in the Running Horse Inn, London). This meeting was an attempt to address the perception that those most affected by the future delivery of Child Health Services appeared to be least engaged in its evolution. The following points were made:

  • Child Health (the delivery of care across all services, populations and areas) is a different concept than that of just “Paediatrics”.
  • Clinical Leadership in Child Health is an important area for development
  • Expectation of the future role of the trained Paediatrician must be managed as this will have important repercussions on recruitment into the specialty.

The focus of the group quickly changed from one of workforce planning to one of quality improvement and cultural change leading to the development of our current ‘mantra’

Boys Laughing Whispering and Telling Secrets

Inspiring the child health workforce to deliver high quality services that delight children and their families

A great deal has happened in the last 5 years but it is fair to say the RHG has been quiescent recently. There are a variety of reasons for this but it is clear that the ethos and concept of the group are still very much in the minds of many organisations and individuals. The time has come to look at another 5 year plan but more importantly re-energise our membership.

In the summer we hope to hold an event where we can discuss where the RHG stands and more importantly continue to reach out to anyone who is interested in our aims. This includes a new generation of paediatric trainees who have the passion to look outside the current paediatric curriculum but more importantly other medical specialties and health care professions. The worst thing that could happen to the RHG is that it becomes an exclusive club. It should be open to all and with the Foundation of Child Health put on hold there is a clear need to bring professionals, parents. children and young people together in other ways.

Please look out for further announcements but in the mean time please encourage others to join (by following this website). If you get a chance also have a look at the #ReACT website – an open repository of resources based around identifying the deteriorating child. Maybe share the following two videos? It’s possible you might save a life by doing so…