Guest blog: Federica Bianchini – An unexpected experience with the Sepsis Community of Practice…

@feds presented her journey with the Sepsis Community of Practice to the Yorkshire and Humber Library and Knowledge Services Meeting in May. She has very kindly agreed to let me share this with you, and I hope you find it as inspiring and energising as I did!

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Today I am here to tell you about my experience with the Sepsis Community of Practice.

Unexpected – this is a recurrent term that represents my life, starting from moving to the UK four years ago to working in as Health Assistant Librarian. I did not plan to join the CoP and also I found difficult to appreciate the nature of this community.

This image represents, not only a place really familiar to me but also the idea of the community of practice, what I really like about them and the unexpected results.

One year ago I received an email from a Leadership Academy facilitator asking my manager and me to meet the local Sepsis CoP facilitator, based in Bradford. It sounded like a blind date.

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But then at the meeting I met this person – Erin, Quality & Patient Safety Manager, who really introduced me to the core characteristic of a community of practice. – I am really pleased that she’s not in the audience.

What I perceived from her was her absolute devotion to the Sepsis problem and I was captivated by the nature of the CoP around this topic.

  • A group of people that naturally gather together to discuss their experience
  • Try to find out solutions to the Sepsis detection and prevention
  • Informal environment where people listen and share
  • No hierarchy / no boundaries in terms of Trusts (there where people from Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale and Airedale Foundation Trusts)
  • Regardless job roles – experience on the topic
  • It is a voluntary community, that’s the most shocking characteristic

All this concept and energy was really compelling. Then I stopped and thought- I have been requested to join to a group of people that

  • Are not part of the same organisation that I work in
  • They are not a library-wise group but more a clinical background
  • I do not know anything about sepsis
  • Most importantly I do not have time = I am already busy

So rationally I would have said, I am deeply sorry but No. Instead I say….

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We must try to contribute to the COP – there must be way to ADAPT something we have in place to support it.

Something that can be done as part of my regular job.

And then I had the idea: I am good in gathering information and disseminating it. I can prepare a Current Awareness Bulletin (CAB) for Sepsis – so I met Erin again and she was absolutely enthusiastic with the result. We were able to put new articles, new guidelines, news, new conferences and new resources.

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Since then I regularly produce every month a Sepsis CAB and I disseminate it to the CoP and within the Trust, and adapt the topics based on what they were looking for.

On the top of that we are using the bulletin and the meeting time as an evidence of to fulfil criterion 5.4a [of my job role] = being actively involved in the creation, capture and utilisation of knowledge.

So my key message here is that there must be something you already have in place that could be really useful for a community of practice – it’s all about channelling your resources to support a CoP.

We are happy to circulate the CAB so you can have a look at the content / form – If you are interested contact @feds

Turn it into an opportunity.

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I associate the community of practice with the image of a garden.

  • A garden does not have boundaries –
  • In a garden seeds fly freely (ideas) –
  • There are different flowers (people) –
  • In addition, a garden is regularly visited by bees (librarians!) that pollinate flowers in order to create more…

A garden takes time to grow and develop…