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Principles to create meaningful multiprofessional working | Tara meets Helen Rignall

Helen works as a Primary Care Workforce Tutor based at Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group and now works across the Sussex STP. When Helen first started her role, it was a brand-new position that she had to build and develop.

On our 2nd Source 4 Networks Podcast which can be found here, Helen and Tara our faculty member discuss the skills and resources used to make Helen a success in her new role and how she drove development and change in her network. It’s an inspiring conversation, showing that a little bit of bravery does make things happen.

To support this podcast, here is a summary of Helen’s 5 key principles to create meaningful multiprofessional working.

1. Ask for help and get out there

For Helen, developing the Learning Together Training Hub was really difficult because it was virtual. Helen tackled this by reaching out to others that she knew to help bring the project together, starting with getting a Project Manager. Helen also had the support of her line manager who was a Chief Nurse and had relationships with GP chairs, GP tutors and Programme Directors.

Helen said, “find that one person that knows somebody who can help you. And once you’ve asked that question or been brave enough to speak to people and get out there, other people are more than willing to help you and that’s how you grow.”

Meeting people on a frequent basis can help engage and communicate with people too. Helen often went to meetings in other organisations, went to the university to help with courses or meet with the Nursing and Midwifery Council if they were coming in.

Helen used her people and communications skills to help establish awareness of the network and held regular meetings to keep up consistency.

2. Identify a need that solves a problem

Helen has developed many projects through Learning Together Training Hub and identifying a need that solved a problem was the key.

Helen shared, “we knew we attracted newly qualified nurses, but found they weren’t staying. We really needed someone to come in and support those new nurses.” So that’s what they did and they have increased the Practice Nurse workforce by 13% in 9 months, above their target of 10% in a year.

3. Present your ideas and keep going

Developing the Nursing Times award winning Stop, Look, Care booklet to raise awareness and deliver training that simple care can have a big impact, has been one of Helens flagship projects.

Since its creation, it’s been shared widely across the UK and has been a big hit!

The booklet came about because of tight budgets, lack of access to funding but a strong motivation and vision that this training was vitally important and could make a huge difference.

Helen started by getting everybody around the table, “but we still weren’t getting anywhere. We decided to relook at it over coffee and with our ideas down on paper, we decided we needed to do a presentation to explain why we need the training and why it was so important.

When they looked at the presentation it looked like a marvellous little book which has since gone from strength to strength, being used and adapted for different areas. It was a long time in the making with lots of obstacles along the way, but Helen kept pursuing because she had a core group of people who believed in it.

4. Passion and Belief is essential

Helen has found “if you really believe in something, you can make a difference. You can call in the core people, not a big group, and then give each person an action using their strengths.

You might have a visionary, you might have a Project Manager that keeps it all on track, use those strengths. Then as you meet people, if you need commissioners involved, you approach the committee. If you need higher level people approach them when you’ve got something to show.”

5. Know your strengths and weaknesses

“For any project if you’re working together with a team, you need to identify what your individual skills are so that when you’re developing something you get the right people doing the right job.”

Helen explained, “I did a leadership course which was really good because it straight away helped me build a network, but it also showed me my strengths and weaknesses, so I knew where I had to put a little bit more effort into.”

Listen to the full podcast on SoundCloud here.

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Tara provides project and network management to Primary Care Networks and coaching support to clinical leads and has worked with 11 Training Hubs and 12 Primary Care Networks to date.

Tara has an MBA in Healthcare Leadership and Management, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care, is the author of over 180 blogs also hosts The Business of Healthcare Podcast.

Find out more about THC Primary Care at

And follow Tara on Twitter @THCPrimarycare

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