Rationale, Aims and results of the project

A group of Danish and Italian facilitators, from partner structures, specialised in change/ learning strategies, with the support of a methodological unit including experts from IHCD and MQ have accompanied teams in four Hospital units (two in Italy and two in Denmark) in a process of self diagnosis on organisational development and related competencies needs. In close co-operation, the UK experiences in Management: Standards and Investors in People were thoroughly explored (Philosophy, Paradigms, methods, procedures, techniques) to single out which elements where transferable and under which condition an integration of know how could be possible.

The pilot project developed was intended to put together the European know how to supply planning tools and methods capable of creating a cost effective continous training strategy in the process of introducing in the hospital organisations cost and performances control systems.

The project, promoted by the research centre ARTES - Applied Research into training and Education System, has stirred great interest in all partner countries involved (Denmark, Italy, Great Britain). Due to the limited budget Greece has been offered the possibility to follow the project as observer. The reason why the project has attracted so much interest, is due to the well founded need for innovation in public services and greater emphasis on quality criteria and impartiality of services. The profound demographic, cultural, ethnic changes taking place in Europe and the general financial difficulties combine to make National socio-health systems face enormous changes. There needs to be introduced organisational models that reduce production costs, which for many reasons can not be sustained by the traditional health systems of European countries. Without doubt, the necessity to introduce management concepts and economic criteria confronts the requirement for guaranteed quality and services for health. In this picture, without a European wide thrust, singular structures risk taking the wrong path. Therefore it all amounts to offer a sector, vital for the quality of life in a country, such as the health service, tools to develop appropriate cost effective strategies, plans and training activities.

Up to now human resource development strategies in the health sector have been entrusted, to a large extent, to initial training (principally university and post university, but also initial professional training) and technical, scientific refresher courses. Investment in management development has often been neglected. The project intervened in these issues due to a partnership that integrates European experiences and participating bodies that are very different but faced with similar challenges.

This report is aimed at a wide dissemination and deep understanding of the project process, philosophy and results ensuring an exhaustive documentation of the project process and outcomes in one media language: English; it also represents a knowledge data base, common to all the partners from which to derive specific products or tools to be translated and adapted to the national contexts. The report has been conceived as a Tool kit and can be accessible to a variety of readers who can choose her/his own perspective. and capture: philosophy/paradigmis, methods, procedure, technique. It is mainly addressed to personnel Directors, trainers and consultants specialised in human resources development and training, in the health sector.

In the following chapters, according to a common decision taken by the partners in the Florence partners meeting held on 6th June 1997 concentrate on a description and characterisation of what has happened in the project as a whole, at country level and laboratory level. The editor preferred to respect the ultimate cultural differences reflected also in the writing style, as an additional concrete sign of the multicultural dimension which characterised the project. The reporting of the pilot: project follows a "story board" approach and focuses on some key aspects

- political

- technical

- implementation

It is structured in four chapters.

Chapter 1 ' The story of the project'. It highlights the project procedure from its conceivement, throughout the realisation process, giving a multinational and national perspective of the work carried out. It provides a detailed story of the project, the roles and working relationships between partners are illustrated. Italian, UK and Danish participants' perspectives, are discussed.

Chapter 2 'Directory of the events and techniques'. The chapter analyses the key events that mark the project's evolution, the critical meetings and major events that have had impact on the project, their content are explained followed with consequential effects on the project. A large collection of techniques and model adopted and /or developed during the project is described.

Chapter 3 'Evaluation: Rationale and Results'. It reports the evaluation of the tools, methodology and results by the team. This chapter discusses the evaluations of each team, and analyses the findings based on the work carried out and particular effects. Has the project met its objective ?

Chapter 4' Postscript'. It highlight the follow-on or continuing activities in each partner countries.

The present report is complemented by a series of articles already published in:

the news letter of Management Charter Inidative

N.9, spring 1996: Quality management in Health standards
N. 13, summer 1997: Healthy Development from Leonardo
N. 15, winter 1997/98 : Healthy Progress

the news letter of HICD

Human Resources in the NHS, 14 June 1997: Organisational benchmarking.

From the beginning of the project news letters were also circulated in Italy to all the Advisory Board members and articles have been published in the magazines of the Danish Hospitals. On 15th October the project results were presented to 25 consultants of hospitals located in the Campania Region. Lilia Infelise (ARTES) and Tony Strike (Portsmouth Hospital Trust -Southampton) took part in the initiative. Other initiatives will follow as specified in the PostScript.

An Intemet dissemination of this report will be made available throughout the partners web sites as of end of March 1998.