Senior charge nurse Nicholas Gidley was recently promoted at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester after taking part in the National CLEAR Programme. In this blog, he describes how he’s gained invaluable experience and skills from being involved in CLEAR Urgent and Emergency Care and how he feels it played a key part in his promotion in ED.

CLEAR has made me really think about how change is managed and performed. Before I embarked on the Programme, I had little experience of taking part in any meaningful quality improvement. CLEAR opened my eyes to the importance of clinical engagement.

We had discussions with the team in the Emergency Department about the challenges they face day to day. This was instrumental, it generated interest, colleagues felt engaged – they had a voice, it highlighted a fundamental aspect of the department and concerns that had not been considered previously.

For frontline staff the CLEAR project – focusing on patient pathways and the processes we had in place when they arrived – taught us the skills for change management, skills we could use in the future for any quality improvement project.

It’s also taught us what we can learn from big data – we’re currently examining some interesting results from the data from ED, examining whether it proves or disproves views gathered from our discussions as we head towards the innovation phase of the Programme.

Personally, I feel CLEAR has been hugely career enhancing, when I went for promotion, I was able to recount the lessons I had learnt from the Programme and how I would use this expertise if successful.

Now I’m confident in many aspects of managing change – capturing information, driving interest in projects and engaging colleagues and stakeholders. And I still have more to learn – I’m excited for what future opportunities lie ahead with the Programme. It’s been such a supportive learning environment, it’s very ‘clear’ they want you to succeed.