Training Case Studies - Achieving Behaviour Change Workshop

Achieving Behaviour Change – Matthew Gittus, Core Medical Trainee


“Attending the course reinforced the importance of tailoring approaches to the target audience.”

Matthew Gittus is a Core Medical Trainee, currently based at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Matthew’s project is based around the standardisation and restructuring of regional training days for foundation doctors.

Prior to attending the course, Matthew struggled with understanding why people were not interested in his project. It wasn’t an active disinterest but people just weren’t bothered which made it difficult for Matthew to explore further. In medicine, people are usually quite vocal and passionate about any changes and the impact upon patients. It is normally easier to understand what people are thinking, identify barriers and work on those as the patient aspect motivates active engagement. However, in his current project, Matthew’s project involved engaging with administrative staff and he was baffled by the resistance to change and was tempted to take it personally.

After Matthew attended the ABC workshop, his thoughts regarding the resistance he was experiencing changed and it reinforced the importance of tailoring approaches to the target audience. The ABC training highlighted some of the barriers which could impact on behaviour change, for example, change fatigue, other organisational pressures and timing of the change. Therefore Matthew understood that this indifference he was encountering could have been due to other factors including environment, timing, or previous unsuccessful changes. He learnt that sometimes introducing the same intervention at a different point in time can be successful.

Matthew’s key learning from the session was:

  • Identifying and addressing resistance to behaviour change
  • Selecting the correct intervention dependent on support/resistance

Matthew says attending the course has helped him consider the reasons underlying the resistance or lack of involvement in his project. The ABC course helped Matthew identify the barriers to change in his particular area and then to suggest approaches to overcome these. Matthew has been rewarded by seeing the greater involvement of colleagues and observing that the additional input from them is helping the standardisation and restructuring of training days to be more successful.

Matthew attended the Improvement Academy Achieving Behaviour Change workshop, funded through the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN on 9th November 2018.