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This content is taken from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's online course, Global Blindness: Planning and Managing Eye Care Services. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds SPEAKER: Welcome. The learning outcomes for this presentation are to consider the need for change and to describe the definition of planning.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds In the dictionary, change is defined as to make or become different, or to vary the way of doing something. Before we try to do something differently in a health setting, we need to consider a number of factors. Who is affected by the activity we are thinking about changing? Both health care providers and consumers, or patients? What additional resources or training will be required if we do decide to do things differently, and what is the likely long-term impact? Because of these issues, whatever change we are considering, it will have to be planned. Planning is an activity most of us carry out every day, but we may not recognise it as planning.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 seconds For example, we are planning when we consider going on a holiday or a trip. Planning has two components that work together. They are called organisational process and logical process. In organisational process, we try to understand all the different interconnected components that influence our work. We then use these components to create a strategy or framework for change. The logical process details all the activities we need to carry out in order to achieve our desired change.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 seconds There are four basic stages to planning. Firstly, we need to understand where we are now– here. To do this, we establish our present position, and this lets us decide if change is required or even possible. The second stage is to identify where we want to get to in the future– there. This future is usually three to five years away. In stage three, we work out how to get from here to there. We do this by logically arranging activities and selecting the best methods to help us get to where we want to be. Finally, we carry out our plan effectively and with efficient use of resources– success.

Skip to 2 minutes and 27 seconds To finish the presentation, we’re going to look in more detail at the programme planning and management cycle. There are six steps to the activities in this cycle.

Skip to 2 minutes and 39 seconds Stage one of planning, if you remember, is understanding where we are now. This stage has two steps in programme planning and is known as a situation analysis. In step one, we assess the needs in the community, identify the relevant strategies for primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention, and assess the resources already available at each level of delivery. And in step 2 at this stage, we identify the gaps in current provision and determine the priorities of our action. Stage two of planning involves understanding where we want to get to. And there are two steps to programme planning activities in this stage.

Skip to 3 minutes and 20 seconds In step three, we convert the prevention strategies we have already identified in step one into a plan of action with clear objectives, which have targets and indicators. And in step four, we prioritise our objectives and create a budget and timetable for the activities needed to achieve them. We also, vitally, secure the resources we need to carry out the plan. Stages three and four of planning are about ensuring we can carry out the plan effectively. This is the implementation phase. And planning activities here are referred to as monitoring and evaluation. Again, there are two steps. In step five, we carry out several activities, often more than once.

Skip to 4 minutes and 6 seconds We monitor progress of implementation, identify problems and solutions, review implementation, and if corrective action is needed, we revise the plan. In step six, we evaluate the programme of work that resulted from our plan and decide if the plan could be scaled up elsewhere.

Skip to 4 minutes and 34 seconds In conclusion, in this presentation, we have considered the need for change, described the definition of planning, and looked in detail at the four basic stages and the key steps involved in programme planning and management.

Principles of planning

Here we discuss why change in health care does need to be planned and introduce the basic principles behind planning for eye care programmes.

As you watch the video, think about any planning (at work or in your personal life) that you have been involved in and the organisational and logistical steps that you took. Consider why it’s essential to plan for any form of change within a health setting and ask yourself the following:

The 4 stages of the planning cycle are interlinked to ensure that the envisaged changed occurs. What are the possible areas of weakness to look out for?

The planning cycle Click to expand

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This video is from the free online course:

Global Blindness: Planning and Managing Eye Care Services

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine