Welcome to the June 2020 ESTHER newsletter, in this edition we are featuring Kent resident Roy’s story, in a video by Red Zebra and introducing:
  • Virtual ESTHER Cafés
  • ESTHER work with the Empowercare project
  • On-line ESTHER Improvement Coach training pilot
  • ESTHER international digital conference hosted from Sweden

ESTHER Webinars
COVID-19 has interrupted our usual engagement and interactions with ESTHER Ambassadors, Improvement Coaches and others in our ESTHER network. In response we are running a series of webinars, covering a range of topical subjects, reflecting on and sharing good practice. Our first webinar took place on 28th May and featured:
  • What matters to ESTHER during this time of COVID-19?
  • How the ESTHER Care Philosophy supports
  • Universal Personalised Care
  • What matters to the workforce supporting ESTHER during COVID-19?
Forty five colleagues from health and social care organisations participated in the webinar, including those in the wider ESTHER network in Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Singapore. Guest speaker Cathy Bellman, Local Care Programme Lead presented the key elements of Universal Personalised Care, with a particular focus on social prescribing, featuring Roy’s story. watch Roy’s story and Video  (Video by Red Zebra)

The webinar was a success and is now part of the digital ESTHER offer, recognising that it will be some time before we return to face to face activities, if we ever do fully return to how things were. A recording of the webinar is available on the Design and Learning Centre website. Participants were asked to co-produce future content for webinars with the ESTHER team, to keep the subjects topical and relevant and include ESTHERS.  Mary Crisp from Phoenix Support with Bex Maguire volunteered to be guest speakers for the next webinar on 22nd July. Mary and Bex will share views from ESTHERS on what has mattered to them while living through COVID-19. This might be of particular interest to ESTHER Ambassadors and Improvement Coaches. We will also explore another aspect of Universal Personalised Care, this time focussing on Enabling Choice. For further details on the next webinar please Register here also for the flyer and booking arrangements. 

ESTHER Webinar Evaluation Report
Theme:  What matters to ESTHER during this time?

The purpose of the webinar was to connect with our ESTHER network (Ambassador and Coaches) as members of the workforce supporting ESTHER. The main focus of the webinar was exploring the best ways to support ESTHER at this difficult time of COVID-19 and in the future.
The Webinar was the first in the series and was organised by the ESTHER Team, presented through Microsoft Teams, also the first time using this platform. The Event recorded an Attendance Rate of 90%. Evaluation and feedback forms were emailed out to attendees to capture their opinion and feedback after the event. Pre-event information and support - 8.0 out of 10, Keynote speaker – 8.0 out of 10, while the overall Webinar Day event was rated 9.0 out of 10. The full ESTHER webinar video will be available to download on the Design and Learning Centre Website.

The full ESTHER Webinar video will be available to download on the Design and Learning Centre Website.

 For more information email:

Virtual ESTHER Cafés
Traditionally an ESTHER café is a relaxed and informal event that provides an opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of ESTHERS using local services. All relevant organisations come together to discuss ESTHER’S experience and contribute their ideas and feedback. From hearing these first-hand experiences, health and social care providers can work together to make improvements that matter to ESTHER and to make the best use of resources.
As it is not currently possible to deliver ESTHER cafés in the traditional way, the ESTHER team have developed a virtual version of the Café. This is where the ESTHER team hosts an on-line Café event, with relevant organisations taking part. ESTHER shares their experience of health and care services and participants work through the same discussions and improvement processes, supported by the new ESTHER Café Resource Pack, please download pack Here.   

In April the ESTHER team worked with the Empowercare Project team, to host a virtual site visit for Project partners from different European countries, including the first on-line ESTHER Café, complete with group work and improvement cycle processes.  Feedback from participants was encouraging and confirmed that ESTHER cafés can continue as virtual events and maintain this focus on what matters to ESTHER.

If you would like to discuss running a virtual ESTHER Café, or how the ESTHER team can support you to deliver a virtual Café, please contact us via

The Empowercare Project aims to fully involve older people in decisions concerning their own health and wellbeing and provide the right support to enable them to remain in their homes, assisted by their local community and applying proven solutions, including innovative technologies. To find out more about the project, take a look at the latest newsletter, here


Making History In The Virtual Classroom!

ESTHER Improvement Coach On-line Training Pilot
COVID-19 has interrupted our usual way of training ESTHER Improvement Coaches, so the ESTHER team has developed a free on-line version of the Improvement Coach training. Four and half days of training workshop time has been converted to five half days of on-line training, spread over five months. Training to be an ESTHER Improvement Coach also involves carrying out improvement cycle projects in the workplace as part of the learning process and this remains the same for the on-line version of the training.

The ESTHER Improvement Coach on-line training will be piloted from August to December 2020, with dates tailored to suit delegates. Applications are now invited from those who would like to train as an Improvement Coach and be part of the pilot programme. The Improvement Coach training will include:
  • One to one discussion with a member of the ESTHER team and group induction via conference call, to prepare for the Coach training and on-line learning.
  • Understanding what matters to ESTHER and applying this to improvement work, coaching skills, continuous improvement and project work as part of the learning process.
  • A range of improvement tools and techniques, resilience and being solution focussed.
  • The role of measurements and LEAN methodology in Improvement Coach work.
  • Presentation skills and practising coaching skills.
  • Presentation of improvement project work and becoming an ESTHER Improvement Coach.
For further details see our flyer Download here, or get in touch with the
ESTHER team –

ESTHER Development Power - International Conference
Anna Carlbom, our outgoing ESTHER Lead participated virtually in the Swedish annual conference Development Power (Utvecklingskraft) before leaving us on 19th June to return to Sweden, providing interesting learning and insight from the conference:

Swedish annual conference Development Power (Utvecklingskraft)
Qulturum Centre in Jonkoping, Sweden has organised this national conference for 18 years as an opportunity for anyone working in the care sector locally to both share their own work and experiences of development and improvement work and to get inspired by others, colleagues as well as various expert lecturers. This is a popular meeting place for Swedish ESTHER Coaches and in the latter years this has been the venue for the new Coaches to present their improvement work marking that they now work with a clear: What matters to you focus.
Due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions put in place by the Swedish government, already at the end of March, it was apparent that there would be no physical gathering of people as there normally is at a conference of this kind. But with Qulturum being a very forward thinking hub for innovation and driving change and improvement work by doing old things in a new way, cancel or postponing was not the obvious choice, but being brave and delivering the whole even digitally instead.
By doing this, there was no limit in attendees and you could also jump in and out as you workload allowed. This was done via livestreaming apart from 4 workshops, which instead were done via Zoom, only to allow interactive sessions where facilitators and attendees came together for sharing and learning. The only downside with this event was the detail of the language. As it is aiming for local care and support staff everything apart from one lecture was presented in Swedish.
However, taking advantage of the fact that Swedish is my first language and that the conference was accessible in the UK, I agreed to attend as much as possible and bring some new ideas into our Kent and Medway ESTHER Team.
The theme for the conference this year was Co-production and a lot of the lectures and studio conversations was around that theme. Naturally, Covid-19 was a golden tread through most of what was presented and discussed.

Existential health in times of Covid-19 Thoughts shared by a Swedish bishop named Fredrik Modeus. In times of crisis many people re-evaluate what is important to them, what matters to them. He talked about the differences between mental health and existential health. Where simplified one could say that having a good existential health is like being a tree that has roots that go deep down as opposed to a tree where the roots spread out shallower, just under the surface. To build on that metaphor, when a storm hits, the deep-rooted trees will bend but are less likely to fall than the ones with shallow roots, that does not have the same solid grip that helps them both to stay standing and also bounce back, or in other words more resilient. Important factors to improve your existential health are to experience meaning of life, to have courage in life and feel a joy in life.

People make it happen was presented by Derek Feeley, previously of NHS Scotland and now US based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, talking about leadership in crisis. He highlighted the importance of being open to new ways of working, sharing the power by inviting the workforce to be part of the solution. In a crisis we all tend to move from feeling psychologically safe to a feeling psychological danger, this is where a leader need to provide psychological PPE. This can be done by encouraging the workforce and by showing interest and curiosity in their work and ideas. Also by acknowledging your own vulnerability as a leader.
On thing that he pointed out that stuck with me is that crises tend to be over-managed but under-led as leaders prefer to stick to common knowledge and take on a leadership style of command and control rather than inviting ideas and work towards quality improvement. The most plausible explanation for this is fear of making mistakes and being blamed.

He also set out 5 steps for leadership in crisis that is also very helpful when not affected by any unprecedented situations:

1.  Set and champion direction, use the triple aim
2.  Establish and support the foundation for continuous improvement
3.  Build and nurture will
4.  Encourage ideas and testing
5.  Execute and scale-up improvement
Overall this had a lot a useful content for leadership development, not only in the current times.

Co-producing the rehabilitation process for Covid-19 patients
The most important learning from the local team in Region Jonkoping, was that they already had an cross-organisational rehabilitation group which they mobilised for the work with the process. Secondly, the did not create a new process and plan but used and developed the already existing discharge rehabilitation plan for any patients in the region.
Apart from those subjects there were several more, however the ones mentioned above could easily be applied to the local context here in Kent and Medway and be helpful in our work both in the current situation and when times, hopefully, become less affected by Covid-19.
Copyright © 2020 Design and Learning Centre for Clinical Innovation.
All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Broadmeadow Registered Care Centre
Design & Learning Centre.
Park Farm Road,
CT19 5DN.
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.