• Run by NHS Lanarkshire, in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland.
  • A multi-setting project – acute, primary and hospice.
  • ‘Always events’ (AEs) are actions and behaviours that create a satisfactory patient experience.
  • Will introduce health care teams to the concepts of AE and person-centredness; facilitate AE testing with patient groups; and assess whether the AE approach can drive improvements in patient experience.

Taking a person-centred approach to care involves health care professionals working in partnership with patients. It helps support patients to make important decisions about their own health and care in a way that is specifically designed around their needs and wants, and treats them compassionately and with respect.

Delivering on this consistently is difficult given the complexities, constraints and pressures of frontline care, and the challenges of managing large-scale organisational changes with limited resources. Many patient experience/satisfaction surveys are available to frontline staff, but routinely capturing meaningful patient feedback to actually drive quality improvement is problematic. 

The ‘always event’ (AE) concept offers an innovative person-centred approach to quality improvement that can optimise care experiences in any setting. AEs are those actions and behaviours of care teams that create a satisfactory experience for patients at a local level. The method is strongly rooted in identifying care quality issues that are important to patients, families and carers.

This project will recruit health care teams from acute, primary and hospice care and introduce them to the concepts of AE, quality improvement and person-centredness. It will involve testing AE in priority patient groups to determine if collecting patient feedback can generate localised AEs, which can then be linked to existing or new care systems/processes; and determining if application of the AE method by care teams can drive measurable improvements in local patient experiences.

The project team will test the concept in a small range of secondary care and primary care settings, and a palliative care hospice.

Contact details

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Gregor Smith, Divisional Medical Director (Primary Care) at NHS Lanarkshire and Senior Medical Officer (Primary Care Division) at Scottish Government.