Values Exchange for Health Services

For decades health services have sought greater openness, accountability and consumer involvement, but have lacked an effective means of achieving it. Values Exchange software satisfies this need in day-to-day health service practice. The software can be used by any health professional, arranged in any grouping. It can be used within single institutions but is even more valuable when deployed across organisations - enabling comprehensive review of values-trends, demographics and health outcomes.

Currently our health service customers are using the health professional version of the software. However, we also have a system which can be used simultaneously by professionals and patients.

Contact: to learn more about our revolutionary approach to patient inclusion.

Pioneering Values Transparency in the UK NHS

South Staffordshire NHS Trust was the first UK health organisation to use values transparency software.

Director of Nursing, Neil Carr O.B.E. says:

NHS Director of Nursing

"Partnership with the Values Exchange is enabling us to reach a level of ethical engagement we simply could not achieve on our own."

The Trust carried out a trial project between September and December 2004. Approximately 90 staff were enrolled onto the system, split into four groups: health management, learning disabilities, specialist services, and mental health.

The Trust evaluated the system extremely positively and rolled out the software across the entire workforce in May 2006.

Notable projects

A year-long review of smoking policy in the hospital and grounds which produced a clear consensus that smoking should be allowed in safe shelters, in contrast to top-down NHS policy.

Over 50 confidential clinical practice cases debated – several producing profound changes in patient care.

Real time patient feedback

South Staffordshire recently completed a major patient experience survey using a combination of the Values Exchange online and collated paper-based response.

The Values Exchange is ideal for real time feedback since its web-based software can be instantly installed on anything from a large touch-screen to an i-phone.

Health Service Journal Award

Values Exchange winner of the HSJ Awards 2006The South Staffordshire Values Exchange won a major award for improving care with e-technology in November 2006. The Values Exchange beat 18 other NHS e-caring projects. The HSJ awards are widely regarded as the NHS 'Oscars'

Other NHS Trust Values Exchanges

Technology and Social Impact

Values transparency software is state-of-the-art IT. However, its social impact far outstrips its technical proficiency - increasing staff confidence in difficult situations and creating an unprecedented feeling of involvement and partnership.

Senior Manager Paul Draycott says:

Senior manager

"It is truly exciting to be pioneering such an open approach to health care. It is never easy to improve long-standing routines, but hard work and commitment from staff is progressively establishing values transparency as best practice in the Trust."

The Trust’s Learning Disabilities team have used the software to excellent effect in many situations, from the mundane to the dramatic.

The team wanted to review their restraint policy:

"William is a 39 year old man who has a severe learning disability and autism. He requires full support with all aspects of daily living and has no verbal communication skills. He currently lives at home with his mother who is his sole care provider and attends day services five days a week.

"The main problem is that William needs to have his toe nails cut on a regular basis. This is something that he does not like as he does not appear to like his feet being touched. Unfortunately if his toe nails are not cut he has a tendency to pull his nails out causing him to have infected toes and requiring medical treatment. His main carer (his mother) is unable to cut his nails.

"Desensitisation programmes have been tried but have met with little or no success. The only way so far found to undertake toe nail cutting for William has been to use a three person restraint procedure whilst a chiropodist cuts his nails. The restraint used is a seated restraint using non pain based holds.

"The multi-disciplinary team has been consulted (this includes his mother, his GP and Social Worker). There is some agreement that cutting his nails is in William's best interests but there are continuing concerns regarding the use of restraint. I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter. Thank you."

They reluctantly agreed that restraint remains acceptable, but not without important reservations.
By sharing their emotions and reasoning staff feel now more comfortable about this necessary practice, while resolving to be constantly vigilant for better alternatives.

Case Study - New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Values Exchange was used by a special committee of the New Zealand Ministry of Health. The committee's tasks were:

  • To advise the Director General of Health on the health risks and benefits associated with Artificial Reproductive Technologies (ART)
  • To make recommendations about what should go on the list of 'established procedures' under the Human Reproductive Technologies Act (2004)
  • To consider the need for monitoring of children born as a result of ART

The committee's deliberations were helped significantly by Values Exchange software.

Click here to view the VX report and analysis

See: Report to the Director-General of Health on the Risks and Benefits Associated with Assisted Reproductive Technologies, NZ Ministry of Health, March 2005.