Employee Assistance Programme

Online GP services, Counselling, wellbeing tools and access to retail discounts. Find out more

Care Market Offers

Explore a range of offers from our Procurement Support Programme

Essex County Council - Provider Hub
Text size:

When you first start out on an improvement project it can be extremely tempting to try out lots of ideas simultaneously, particularly as enthusiasm is likely to be high at this point. However if lots of changes are being tried together, and an improvement is noted, it will be difficult to know which change brought about the improvement.

Additionally it is often a good idea to initially conduct a PDSA cycle in a small section of your home (maybe one floor or unit), rather than implement it immediately across the entire home. Then if the change proves not to be effective or needs to be 'tweaked' following the first trial, this can be done on a small scale, rather than possibly disrupting the whole home. Furthermore, 'buy in' from all staff at the home is far more likely if they can see a change is really making a difference (improvement).

Considering the above, these are the top tips for conducting PDSA Cycles:

1: Know the outcome you are hoping to achieve - Generally any PDSA cycles will be linked to your current SMART aim, but even if it is not, do have an idea of what you want the change to achieve. Otherwise you will just be conducting a PDSA for the sake of it.

2: Do not overstretch yourself - In other words it is perfectly acceptable to be conducting a PDSA cycle for a small initiative. Additionally, if you are a large care home, you may want to consider conducting the PDSA cycle in part of your home, for example one unit.

3: Make sure everyone is aware of any tasks allocated to them - This should be recorded in the Do box of the worksheet, so everyone involved is fully aware of what is expected of them.

4: Have an end date - At the start of the PDSA cycle decide a date when the cycle will end, and the initiative will be reviewed. Do not let PDSA cycles drift along with no review, or just 'fizzle' out.

5: Do not be afraid to 'tweak' your initiative and conduct a fresh PDSA cycle - Far too often if an initiative is not instantly successful, the previous situation is reverted to. However often with a slight 'tweak' the initiative could work well and be an improvement. This is the point of using PDSA cycles to trial new initiatives. 

Last updated: 30/08/2023