Dedicated and hard-working staff at all levels of large healthcare organisations can be frustrated by their perceived inability to influence healthcare priorities. This frustration alienates knowledgeable, passionate people from the decision-making process, and may ultimately have a negative effect on healthcare. Some informal, community-based organisations, however, have great success in influencing policy; these groups of like-minded people who meet to discuss and act on common goals and ideas are becoming increasingly recognised as essential players in healthcare debates.
Communities of Influence describes how one such organisation – the successful UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support – has engaged professionals and patients to improve cancer care over the past two decades. Using Macmillan as a case study, Communities of Influence explores and explains how groups of committed people working together can successfully influence policy and practice at local and national levels. Its chapters address both practical and theoretical concerns, and will stimulate managers and practitioners to develop their capacity to work through networks, relationships and conversations in pursuing their objectives.
This book will be of interest to clinicians and healthcare managers who are interested in service improvement, public servants, and researchers and educators interested in organisation and management.
‘This book is a welcome antidote to the usual approaches to improving
healthcare which take the form of endlessly changing organisational structures
and relentless monitoring, often with dubious consequences. It presents an alternative,
holding out the prospect of gradually accumulating changes in the actual work
of those delivering healthcare in a complex environment.’
Professor Ralph Stacey, Complexity Research Group, University of Hertfordshire
'This wonderful book describes how a creative, problem-solving organisation
can be encouraged to start, grow and flourish. The result is a text that could
act as a guide for 21st century healthcare, one of the key books for an era
in which it will be recognised that new solutions are needed for the problems
From the foreword by Sir Muir Gray
Introduction – a fresh approach to improving services Encouraging change from the ground up The power of the collective voice How a charity known for its nurses came to work with general practitioners Making the invisible visible The importance of tracking life and achievements of communities over time Working with and through doctors How a community of GPs made a difference to patient care The social life of documents Making sure written products of communities get noticed and used Hybrid creatures A novel way of bridging the gap between research and service improvement Cultivating a lively community The role of the supporting team in helping a group become more influential Involving lay people as partners How patients joined a professional community and helped shape new services Playing a long game Benefits and risks of working with communities of influence over time Postscript: a writer’s personal reflections Suggestions for further reading Abbreviations
Alison Donaldson, Elizabeth Lank and Jane Maher, respectively Visiting Research at the Business School, University of Hertfordshire; Independent expert in collaborative working; Consultant clinical oncologist, Chief Medical Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support.
Foreword by Sir Muir Gray, Consultant in Public Health, Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust