Board game to improve team working in healthcare

An educational board game to help improve team performance in health and social care organisations has been developed by Focus Games in collaboration with NHS Lothian.

Effective team-working has never been more important in health and social care. Patient safety and cost-efficiency rely on staff working together efficiently and effectively. This is increasingly challenging as teams from health and social care integrate and work together more closely.

Recent findings from the 2016 NHS Staff Survey indicate that in acute trusts a 10% increase in ‘real’ team membership is associated with a drop in mortality of around 6%. Face-to-face engagement is vital to develop 'real' teams and improve their performance.

The Teams That Care Game is designed to help managers and staff understand what a 'real' team is, and then to explore how to optimise team performance. The game was developed initially by participants of NHS Lothian’s Delivering Leadership Excellence

for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) programme, and designed to support NHS Scotland’s AHP Delivery Programme. Ongoing development of the game was funded by the Scottish government, and it is now available to anyone in health and social care who is keen to improve their team performance.

At a time when health and social care integration is bringing different services together, new multidisciplinary teams will evolve and they must learn to work together effectively. The Teams That Care Game will be a valuable resource to help these teams discuss new ways of working together to provide effective person-centred care. The board game is also supported by a website, which features further team development resources and an action plan that teams can complete to put learning into practice.