Posted on: 17 May 2023

Sam Diaz Hernández left the sun and sands of Tenerife and moved to London just before the Olympics in 2012.

Having trained to be a social worker at University of La Laguna and registered with the Colegio Oficial de Trabajo Social, he decided to settle in the UK because “there is more to life than the sun and beach”. He wanted to make the most of the opportunities that come with working for a “world renowned organisation” such as the NHS.

Sam spent time working for the private and third sectors before eventually joining the NHS in 2018. It was here that he got a taste for quality improvement (QI), which is the application of a systemic approach that uses specific techniques to improve quality.P1080336.JPG

“It was the idea of learning something new that appealed to me in particular,” Sam said. “As a social worker, this is not part of our usual learning.

“There was an element of innovation with an emphasis on improving the way we work and, ultimately, the care we provide.

“So, it definitely seemed like something in line with my values, aspirations and personal and professional interest.”

Sam is now an Improvement Coach and passionate advocate for QI, arguing that the fact it’s both collaborative and evidence-based allows for much better, more reliable results.

He said: “Firstly, I love having the chance to support the testing and pioneering of what have the potential to be new ideas changing the way we work for the better.

“Secondly, the certainty of using an evidence-based method that helps not only in promoting those ideas, but also testing them safely and producing reliable results.

“Thirdly, the chance to work closely with fantastic teams formed by staff and patients working together, with the single determination to provide better quality of care. All these elements make equal parts of what makes so exciting about working in QI.

If this sounds interesting to you then there are plenty of ways you can get involved.

Training sessions are available on LDZ and you can find more information on the Improvement Academy website.

Sam’s message is clear.

“Go for it!” he said. “There is very little downside on going for our Level 1 training, for example, but the odds of it being part of an exciting and rewarding journey are high.

“At the very least, people can learn something new, which is always a positive in my view.

“I am a really good example of someone who started out of curiosity as a learning opportunity, only to find it has become a career-changing passion.”