An educational board game to help improve team performance in health and social care organisations has been developed by Focus Games Ltd 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(1) states 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 initially developed 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 Teams That Care Game™ is now available to anyone in health & social care who is keen to improve their team performance. The game is designed to help all staff address team performance in an engaging, non-threatening way, exploring what it takes to be a successful team and suggesting ways of working together more effectively.

At a time when health & social care integration is bringing different services together, new multi-disciplinary 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 which teams can complete to put learning into practice.

“The game is a great team building exercise, non-threatening and a fun and flexible way to learn. It stimulated lots of discussion and could be completed in one sitting or small bites. Lends itself accordingly to busy schedules and pressured environments. While there were right answers, the game is set up to ensure all views and opinions are valued and it feels as though there are no wrong answers, as an outcome and shared action plan is agreed. Highly recommend giving it a go,” said Alison Meiklejohn, Occupational Therapy Manager & AHP Mental Health Strategic Lead NHS Lothian.

Teams That Care is suitable for anyone working in health & social care. Using a board game brings people together to have open conversations about important issues, stimulated by the questions & scenarios in the game. Teams That Care helps players to explore:

• Characteristics of successful teams
• Having a shared purpose & objectives
• Communication & trust
• Innovation & change

The Teams That Care Game™ is a very flexible resource – it can be played as part of a structured learning programme, or informally in the workplace. To extend opportunities for learning, a specialist facilitator is not required and everything you need is in the box!

Find out more at
Twitter: @TeamsCareGame

(1) Summary of finding from NHS Staff survey can be found here