Gareth Corser of NHS Elect spoke at our George Eliot Celebrating Excellence and NHS 65 event on “creating the opportunities for creative solutions”. He argued that innovation does not need to be completely original but can simply involve other people’s ideas to your situation. You need to look at an organisation in a similar position to yourself and see how they approached their similar problem. Other insights included the fact that creativity is fostered more by having fun than monetary reward and all too often we make assumptions about situations based on past experience which may not be correct.
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande is a brilliant argument for using checklists to avoid potentially disastrous mistakes. Gawande was involved in development of the WHO’s Safe Surgery checklist. The pilot sites across the world experienced large reductions in surgical complications (NEJM 2009). He records similar experiences in the aviation and investment industries. As sinful, busy people we often cut corners and assume everything will be OK. The discipline of a checklist ensures everything is done right.