May 212015
Debbie (second from right) with fellow students

Debbie (second from right) with fellow students at #Quality2015

After getting over my excitement at being announced a winner of the #Hellomynameis competition earlier this year, I had to prepare myself all over again to travel down to London with my fellow student nurse winners to attend the International Forum on Quality and Improvement in Healthcare 2015 hosted by IHI.

We arrived, registered, looked around the exhibition hall and took our seats to listen to the keynote speaker Maureen Bisognano.  What an inspiration! She spoke about curiosity being the driver behind improvement and to look at things from a different angle.  She showed us a quote written backwards in the ladies bathroom at their facility in America.  Obviously no one could read it quickly until you came to wash your hands in the bathroom and look through the mirror…The quote read:


“By looking at the problem from a different perspective, sometimes the solution becomes clear”

I thought that was a fantastic idea. I am going to ask for it to be put on the university toilet walls for inspiration.


Maureen went on to say we need to move away from “fix and forget” mentality and move toward “see, solve and share”.  Use teamwork – innovation, spread and exnovation (I’d never heard of that one!). She was very supportive of students too, which went down well with us, as in my eyes students are the way forward.

Her final message was to take care of yourself. You can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself.  We were all left feeling really motivated by Maureen’s speech and rushed down to the stage in the auditorium to get a picture!  She was lovely and obliged.

Maureen Bisognano and NHS Wales students

Maureen Bisognano and NHS Wales students

For me the Forum was about the inspirational ladies… Her Royal Highness Princess Anne joined us on the second day and it was lovely to hear her speak; she was so knowledgeable.  She was incredibly passionate about how improvements in healthcare effect people all over the world.

Princess Anne also provided, in my eyes, the best quote of the Forum which was to know the difference between knowledge and wisdom:

“Knowledge is to know that a tomato is a fruit: Wisdom is to know not to put it into your fruit salad!”


The Forum was a fantastic learning experience and incredibly motivational. I look forward to taking back that learning and putting it in place.


Debbie Rogers is a nursing student at Bangor University. Join the conversation, leave your comment below or Tweets us @1000LivesPlus.

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