Caring Together is an innovative approach to improving health worker performance, leading to better service delivery and more satisfied patients. Developed by Baylor-Uganda, with the support of Pepal (UK) and Janssen Pharmaceutica, Caring Together has been tested, refined and rolled out in 270 health facilities in Uganda, with funding from Comic Relief (UK). Initiated in March 2015, the project covered a population of 4.4 million, across sixteen districts in the Eastern and Rwenzori regions. The Caring Together Project was completed in March 2018, with the final project results launched at the International Leadership in Healthcare Summit on 25-26 April 2018.
The Caring Together project trains health workers as mentors, empowering them to deliver leadership training at their allocated health facilities. They establish long-term mentorship relationships with mentees centred on action plans for improvements staff can make in their own facilities. The project also aims to improve the use of performance management within the health facilities and wider districts.
Focusing on skills like communication, teamwork, time management, and conflict resolution, and utilising tools like monthly meetings books and patient waiting cards, Caring Together addresses operational leadership gaps at health facilities. Over the course of the three years, 83 mentors, 16 DHTs and 270 In-Charges have been trained.
Through such interventions, patient waiting times at Caring Together facilities have been reduced from an average of 61 to 38 minutes per patient, saving about 2 million hours annually. Concurrently, patient satisfaction has been increased at these facilities, with 61% more likely to be satisfied with their care.
By increasing staff motivation and equipping health workers with skills and methods to address service delivery challenges, the motivation and functionality of 270 health facilities has been improved. Consequently, patients now receive a better service and are more likely to return for further care, improving health outcomes.