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Clinical Research Network, North West Coast Team Away Day 2022

Team photo CRN NWC

On September 16th 2022 the Clinical Research Network North West Coast (CRN NWC) held a whole team day in Liverpool at the Radisson Blu Hotel. This was a follow on meeting from last year's whole team day. The topic of this event was 'change' and how we think about it, process it, manage it and in many instances how we can celebrate it and not be fearful of it. Team days are an important part of our work calendar and a team day has a lot of benefits. It's important for the team to have dedicated time to come together to get to know each other better, which leads to building trust, encouraging communication and that all helps to increase our collaborations and build a stronger, more effective team.

The day was again facilitated and organised by Jana Kennedy and Leanne Gregory from NHS R&D North West.  Many of the team, having encountered Jana at last year's event, knew what to expect and felt safe in her hands as it was a morning filled with (controlled) fun and mayhem, all with a serious underlying theme about how change makes people feel, how we manage and deal with it and also a reminder of what opportunities it can bring. Important for us all personally as we move through life as situations and circumstances rarely stay the same forever but also vital for our work life. It was also a timely topic with the future opportunity having been announced that will arise from CRN NWC merging with Clinical Research Network, Greater Manchester (CRN GM) to become a North West wide research delivery network serving a population of approx seven million people.

The afternoon was an opportunity for the network team, in smaller working groups, to showcase the work that they have been doing over the last three months within their MAD (Making A Difference) groups. Following feedback from last year's team day, plus subsequent listening events, several themes were identified within the CRN NWC team for potential improvements. To take this forward it was felt important to include the whole team in the next steps, thus harnessing their collective knowledge, experience and creativity as well as empowering them to take the responsibility for their working environment and know that they could facilitate the change needed. 

The team was divided into eight groups. Each group was tasked with a different topic that had been highlighted as a theme:

  1. Living our Values - How do we embed these into our worklife?
  2. Manager Resources and Consistency
  3. Staff Induction and Needs
  4. Working as One Team
  5. Communicating as a community
  6. Sharing Intelligence
  7. Systems and Processes
  8. Improving our Experience

The feedback from each group was excellent and insightful. The presentations were brilliant and creative. They showcased the creativity, flair and talent of many of the team - there were quizzes, comedy sketches, videos and an opportunity for some to present to an audience when it was something they hadn't done before- and all picked out pertinent, important suggestions for change or solutions as part of our cycle of continuous improvement. The next steps over the coming months will be the implementation phase. A huge thank you to the team for their contributions and the day served as an excellent reminder that together we are stronger, more resourceful and insightful when we put all of our individual parts together. Written by Vicky Wilkinson, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, CRN NWC.

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