Sera Llewelyn Davies
I recently had the privilege of attending the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in London. I was allowed to choose a total of nine sessions that were held over two days. I was very interested in all the sessions, so it was difficult to choose as there were many interesting events taking place.
After travelling from North Wales to London, I was looking forward to attending the forum on Thursday morning. The venue was full of individuals from across the world and I was extremely lucky to be there to learn and share ideas.
The day began with a word of welcome and announcements, which then led on to the first session, entitled ‘International Quality and Safety: where are we now and where are we going to?’ lead by Donald Berwick and Lord Darzi. The session included a discussion on what needs to be changed and how this will happen in years to come.
After attending a variety of sessions over the two days, one that stood out was the second session on the Thursday, ‘How leaders navigate the way’. The main lesson that I learnt from this session was ‘I’ve got the gift’, which is a culture within leadership to improve quality. That gift is passed on down the line to the next person. It is important to remember that it is a path and not a map, which means that it takes time to travel down that path to implement actions. There is a great deal of pressure in the health and care sector. I learnt that, in order to improve quality, this is the gift, with empowerment, engagement and culture being an important part of how we would lead within a placement. I will certainly take that message back and put it into practice on the ward in future, in order to make changes and emphasise the importance of everyone working together and being involved in any action that is taken. Questions must be asked about how to assess, improve safety and improve the service and, as a result, improve experiences. In order to make a difference, I have some ideas for helping new staff on the ward by producing an information booklet and placing an educational notice board on the ward. I learnt a lesson to take back to my workplace, namely that changing and improving quality is a process similar to cooking, and what makes it tasty is collaboration to make something work successfully.
At the end of the two days, I had learnt a great deal. My mind is full of ideas, and I will take them back to my workplace where I work as a New Registered Nurse.
I am very pleased that I entered the #Hellomynameis competition, and will continue with the work of campaigning on the ward. If you are a student nurse or a medical student, you can enter and you could be lucky enough to attend a forum such as this in the future. I am looking forward to attending another forum in the future as part of my work as a nurse. The work of improving the quality of care for patients needs to continue to ensure they have the best care possible. The forum and working with the 1000 Lives staff was extremely inspirational.
Wow! I feel so privileged, honoured and humbled to think that my entry to the “Hello my name is” competition, led to me being given the opportunity to attend this year’s International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare at the Excel London. The speakers were world class and I have to confess to being a little star struck; I had to pinch myself. As a first year nursing student to be able to attend the sessions at such a renowned conference was an honour.
The opening keynote was delivered by Dr Donald Berwick, and Professor Lord Ara Darzi which then was followed by a panel that also included Margaret Murphy, External Lead Advisor for WHO Patients for Patient Safety Programme and Anya De Longh, Self management coach and patient. The panel agreed that greater patient involvement is the way forward.
Another keynote session focussed on ‘Patient Innovators’ and how the impact of technology is creating innovations from patients who proudly shout #WeAreNotWaiting for the mass market to find solutions for their conditions.
Instead these patients are researching, and developing positive solutions through self management to improve their lives and those of others with similar health conditions. I have recently been on an outpatient placement at a diabetic clinic, and I couldn’t wait to share the innovation of Tim Omer, Diabetes Advocate who developed a ‘Tic tac’ glucometer and Artificial Pancreas System. I have shared with colleagues on my placement the innovative work of Sara Riggare, a PhD student at Karolinska Instituet in Sweden and self care expert, who has developed a digital self care mapping tool for the management of her own Parkinson’s disease.
The Friday morning key note was by Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director at The Scottish Government and Derek Feely, President and CEO of IHI, who encouraged us to ask our patients ‘What matters to you?’ This simple concept really inspired me so much that I have since suggested that our Swansea University Student Chapter gets involved in a “What matters to you day 2017”. This simple, yet effective question can help us to provide more holistic and person centred care. As the mother of a child who is deaf I could easily relate; I know if I asked my son “What matters to you?” it wouldn’t be hospital appointments, or hearing aids, it would be football and swimming, demonstrating beautifully that patients are more than just their condition.
One of the real highlights for me was listening to Ingrid Brindle patient of Haughton Thornley Medical Centres and the Chair of Haughton Thornley Patient Participation Group, along with Dr Amir Hannan, GP at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres and Chair of World Health Innovation Summit, who both spoke about the patient #empowerlution – an empowerment revolution. Advocating for full disclosure and individual access to medical records, which they believe will ultimately lead to better patient care.
I also had the opportunity to speak to many people about a variety of issues. These included the 1000 Lives Improvement programmes on Safe staffing levels, sepsis and safer pregnancy campaign to name a few. This opportunity would not have presented itself had I not attended the conference. As a student I made full use of the reading materials which I know I will use in order to build my knowledge and as reference materials for my written assignments.
Listening to Colonel Chris Hadfield, former military test-pilot and astronaut, also gained me a few credibility points with my children, and taught me that the sky really is the limit when delivering quality patient centred care.
Thank you 1000 Lives Improvement for such an amazing experience! I am sure the impact of this conference will carry on throughout the rest of my professional career. I hope that you run a similar competition next year, in order to give another student like myself a learning opportunity that is incomparable to any learning opportunity I have experienced as a student.