The ESTHER Model was created in the region Jönköping in Sweden in 1997. The model has two main purposes:
- To create smoother and safer pathways for ESTHER.
- To use providers resources more efficiently with a communal goal of always doing what matters to ESTHER.
The ESTHER Model strives to improve patients experience and the quality of care received by people (ESTHER) through discussing the needs of ESTHER openly and treating ESTHER, their family and networks as equal partners in their care.
The ESTHER Model has been running in Sweden for more than 20 years and has had a number of positive outcomes including:
- 30% drop in hospital admissions
- Reduction in hospital readmissions after 30 days for patients over 65
- Decreased length of hospital stays
- ESTHERs reporting that they feel safe
ESTHER is a fictitious person and can be anyone who has had contact with Health and Social Care Services. The model was named ESTHER as this was a common name at the time in Sweden and everyone knew an ESTHER!
While today ESTHER is a fictitious person in 1997 ESTHER was real person who had to tell their story 32 times over 10 hours starting from the District Nurse who saw her that morning to all the professionals she came into contact with until she was admitted to hospital.
Organisations that have introduced the ESTHER Model have reported a number of benefits such as:
- Improved skills and competencies of the workforce
- Enhanced quality of care
- Positive impact on recruitment and retention
- Supporting an efficient flow of people through the system and improved communication between organisations
As a result of these reported outcomes we have strategic agreement to drive the transformation of the workforce by implementing the model across health and social care workforce including providers and the voluntary sector.
The ESTHER Model in Kent was adopted in 2016 as it was recognised as an excellent way health and social care being able to demonstrate that there is a clear vision and credible strategy to deliver high-quality care and support while promoting a positive culture that is person-centred, open, inclusive and empowering. In Kent we are now asking “What matters to ESTHER?” instead of “What is the matter with ESTHER?”.
To support the roll our ESTHER in Kent we have two training opportunities available the ESTHER Coach, which was adopted from Sweden, and the ESTHER Ambassador, which is a unique opportunity we developed here in Kent. To find out more about these roles please see our Frequently Asked Questions.
In Kent alongside these roles we have also introduced four levels of continuous quality improvement:
- ESTHER: To listen and learn from ESTHERs experience of care which can drive future improvement projects
- The Workforce: Providing training and support programmes to the health and social care workforce including the care sector to support the implementation of the ESTHER culture
- Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs): Ensuring all members of these teams feel empowered to ask the question “What matters to ESTHER?”
- The System: Introducing and holding ESTHER cafes which are owned by local communities and provide a platform for ESTHERs to share their experiences of care and how they think this could be improved while health and social care professionals listen, develop and feedback conclusions to their organisations and commissioners
The Kent ESTHER philosophy and way of working has gained recognition by national bodies such as Health Education England, the Department of Heath and Social Care and recently the Chief Social Worker for Adults Annual Report 2017-18.
To see Kent’s progress to date and our key ESTHER Milestones take a look at our timeline.
We are currently developing an ESTHER app and e-learning programme. And now have our Ambassador and Coach training dates in place and developing a programme of ESTHER café dates.
To keep up to date with ESTHER in Kent sign up to our ESTHER Newsletter
ESTHER Ambassador Dates:
An ESTHER Ambassador is someone who promotes ESTHER and raises awareness of the model and with those, they come into contact with through their work. Face to face training is currently suspended due to Covid 19.
ESTHER Ambassador Awareness
ESTHER Ambassador Awareness is currently only available as e-learning.
For staff working in Kent County Council you will find this on Delta.
For anyone working elsewhere, please email us at [email protected]