May 142019

We catch up with Paul Gimson, Medicine Safety Programme Lead, 1000 Lives Improvement to talk about the plans for the Medicine Safety programme.

1.What is your background in medicine safety?

I’m a pharmacist by background so medicines safety is in my blood! I’ve worked in community pharmacy and as a prescribing advisor in local health boards. I’ve was the lead for Medicines Safety at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  1. What are the plans for the Medicine Safety Programme?

The programme is being established in response to both the World Health Organisations Global Safety Challenge ‘Medication without Harm’ and the Welsh Governments Long Term plan for Health and Social Care: A Healthier Wales. We aspire to make Wales the safest place in the World to take medicines.

Our programme will be focussed on addressing four key challenges;

  • Systems – how can we improve the systems and processes that underpin prescribing, safety and medicines management? We will focus on prescribing practices, interfaces of care and applying the evidence base that exists around systems thinking and safety.
  • Harm – how can we tackle specific areas of harm that we know contribute significantly to avoidable admissions to hospital? Areas of concern include admissions due to falls, bleeds and acute kidney injury.
  • Prudent Prescribing – how can we apply the principles of prudent healthcare to prescribing? How can we improve areas such as polypharmacy, medication review and antimicrobial resistance? Can we make better use of the multidisciplinary team?
  • Person Centred-Care – how can we support a more person-centred approach to medicines safety in Wales? How can we best apply the principles of co-production and behavioural change psychology to medicines use?
  1. How do you plan to achieve the key outcomes of the programme?

As the title suggests it will be a challenge, and it won’t happen overnight. I have found myself wondering –what are the elements of a high performing medicines safety system. Is it better use of data? Is it better learning from error? Is it improved multidisciplinary working? What does any of his look like in an improved system?

In order to find out we plan to bring together the improvement expertise of 1000Lives with the knowledge and experience of those in NHS who have an interest in medicines safety, as well as the public, to co-produce a series of high impact interventions that have the potential to transform medicines safety in Wales. We will then test those interventions with a view to spreading them nationally via a national Medicines Safety Collaborative.

  1. Why are you excited to be working on it?

I have been involved in medicines safety all of my career. For me personally it is an opportunity to apply all I have learnt about improvement to a topic that I am passionate about. By bringing together pharmaceutical and improvement expertise we can make a real difference to peoples’ lives through safer and more effective use of medicines.

Paul wants to hear from you – what ideas do you have to improve medicines safety? What projects are you involved in that you want to share? If you want to get involved then please contact him at

May 142019

Cawsom sgwrs gyda Paul Gimson, Arweinydd Rhaglen Diogelwch Meddyginiaethau, 1000 o Fywydau – Gwasanaeth Gwella, i drafod y cynlluniau ar gyfer y Rhaglen Diogelwch Meddyginiaethau.

1.Beth yw’ch cefndir ym maes diogelwch meddyginiaethau?

Rwyf wedi bod yn fferyllydd, felly mae diogelwch meddyginiaethau yn fy ngwaed! Rwyf wedi gweithio ym maes fferylliaeth gymunedol ac fel cynghorydd rhagnodi mewn byrddau iechyd lleol. Roeddwn i’n arweinydd ar gyfer diogelwch meddyginiaethau yn y Gymdeithas Fferyllol Frenhinol.

  1. Beth yw’r cynlluniau ar gyfer y Rhaglen Diogelwch Meddyginiaethau?

Caiff y rhaglen ei sefydlu mewn ymateb i Her Diogelwch Byd-eang Sefydliad Iechyd y Byd, ‘Meddyginiaeth heb Niwed’, a chynllun tymor hir Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, Cymru Iachach. Rydym ni’n ceisio gwneud Cymru’r lle mwyaf diogel yn y byd i gymryd meddyginiaethau.

Bydd ein rhaglen yn canolbwyntio ar fynd i’r afael â phedair her allweddol;

  • Systemau – sut gallwn ni wella’r systemau a’r prosesau sy’n tanategu rhagnodi, diogelwch a rheoli meddyginiaethau? Byddwn ni’n canolbwyntio ar arferion rhagnodi, rhyngwynebau gofal, a chymhwyso’r gronfa dystiolaeth sy’n bodoli ynghylch meddwl a diogelwch systemau.
  • Niwed – sut gallwn ni fynd i’r afael â meysydd penodol o niwed rydym ni’n gwybod sy’n cyfrannu’n sylweddol at dderbyniadau osgoadwy i’r ysbyty? Mae’r meysydd o bryder yn cynnwys derbyniadau i ysbyty yn sgil cwympiadau, gwaedu, ac anaf acíwt i’r arennau.
  • Rhagnodi darbodus – sut gallwn ni gymhwyso egwyddorion gofal iechyd darbodus i ragnodi? Sut gallwn ni wella meysydd fel polyfferylliaeth, adolygu meddyginiaethau, ac ymwrthedd i gyffuriau? Allwn ni wneud defnydd gwell o’r tîm amlddisgyblaeth?
  • Gofal sy’n canolbwyntio ar yr unigolyn – sut gallem ni gefnogi ymagwedd sy’n canolbwyntio fwy ar yr unigolyn at ddiogelwch meddyginiaethau yng Nghymru? Beth yw’r ffordd orau i gymhwyso egwyddorion cynhyrchu ar y cyd a seicoleg newid ymddygiadau at y defnydd o feddyginiaethau?
  1. Sut ydych chi’n bwriadu cyflawni canlyniadau allweddol y rhaglen?

Fel y mae’r teitl yn ei awgrymu, bydd yn her ac ni fydd yn digwydd dros nos. Rwyf wedi bod yn tybio -beth yw elfennau system diogelwch meddyginiaethau o’r radd flaenaf. A yw’n ddefnydd gwell o ddata? A yw’n well dysgu o wall? A yw’n gweithio amlddisgyblaeth well? Sut beth fydd hyn mewn system well?

Er mwyn darganfod mwy, rydym ni’n bwriadu dod ag arbenigedd gwella 1000 o Fywydau, a gwybodaeth a phrofiad y rheiny yn y GIG sydd â diddordeb mewn diogelwch meddyginiaethau, yn ogystal â’r cyhoedd, at ei gilydd, i gynhyrchu ar y cyd cyfres o ymyriadau effaith uchel sydd â’r potensial i drawsnewid diogelwch meddyginiaethau yng Nghymru. Wedyn, byddwn ni’n profi’r ymyriadau hynny gyda’r bwriad o’u lledaenu nhw’n genedlaethol, trwy Gydweithrediaeth Diogelwch Meddyginiaethau genedlaethol.

  1. Pam ydych chi’n gyffrous cael gweithio ar hyn?

Rwyf wedi bod yn gysylltiedig â diogelwch meddyginiaethau ar hyd fy ngyrfa. I mi yn bersonol, mae’n gyfle i gymhwyso popeth rydw i wedi’i ddysgu am wella i bwnc rwy’n frwdfrydig yn ei gylch. Trwy ddod ag arbenigedd fferyllol a gwella at ei gilydd, gallwn wneud gwahaniaeth gwirioneddol i fywydau pobl trwy ddefnydd mwy diogel a mwy effeithiol o feddyginiaethau.

Hoffai Paul glywed oddi wrthych chi – pa syniadau sydd gennych chi i wella diogelwch meddyginiaethau? Pa brosiectau ydych chi’n gysylltiedig â nhw yr hoffech eu rhannu? Os hoffech gymryd rhan, cysylltwch ag ef ar


Aug 292017

Can you remember when you visited the theatre? What was memorable and enjoyable? Are you looking forward to visiting again?

If it was an operating theatre, would you feel differently? Imagine if:

  • You couldn’t understand what was happening, or why;
  • You were made to wear someone else’s clothes (a hospital gown);
  • On your way to the theatre the people stared/ looked away;
  • The theatre smelled and the lights were very bright;
  • In the theatre noisy machines had flashing lights;
  • You didn’t know any of the people who all wore the same clothes;
  • You kept saying you were confused and scared, but no one noticed;
  • You wanted to leave, but they stopped you. The people appeared to be annoyed?

It would be memorable, but would you want to visit again?

Can we comprehend how a person with a learning disability experiences a hospital? Do we understand how previous experiences influence future behaviour? It may be a typical day for healthcare workers but a very different day for hospital users. It is essential we demonstrate empathy, compassion and understand how the environment and processes within a hospital may be very difficult for others. Whether, we are aware through the learning disability hospital passport, our knowledge or because we have listened to the person and their carers, it is essential we meet those essential reasonable adjustments for treatment.

Our team developed the Soothing Patients Anxiety “SPA” Experience to deliver a less distressing day and a positive experience within the theatre in a hospital. We achieved this by using iterative Plan Do Study Act cycles and other techniques taught by the Silver IQT course to ensure constant refinement of our processes. Patients and/or their carers are equal partners in planning their care. Reflection on every interaction and constant feedback provide new learning for continuous service improvement. An enjoyable memorable day is achieved through patient choice distraction techniques during induction of the general anaesthetic that we call “stealth or themed anaesthesia” which minimises/avoids sedation/and or positive behavioural management (restraint). All techniques are practiced within the theatre with the patient and carers prior to the day of operation, “a dress rehearsal”.

  • Stealth anaesthesia – covert administration of the anaesthetic whilst the individual involved in their favourite activity and chosen distraction technique.
  • Themed anaesthesia- the journey is built around a favourite thing. A gentleman with a learning disability during our dedicated pre anaesthetic assessment clinic remarked that the anaesthetic facemask reminded him of what fighter pilots used in his favourite film Top Gun. The morning of the operation he watched the movie. Walking to theatre he listened to the theme music. In theatre he was involved in a pre flight/anaesthetic checklist. He drifted off to sleep holding his facemask he watched an aerial flight scene via an i-pod in front of his eyes. On waking he received a Top Gun flight certificate.

Awards embody the opportunity to share learning and influence care external to your organisation. Last year the team won the NHS Wales Citizens at the Centre of Service Redesign Award and this year BMJ Anaesthesia Team of the Year. We are honoured to work with people with learning disabilities and the intrinsic opportunity to challenge the norms of healthcare. Our diverse and unique service users ensures constant learning and quality improvement as they each inspire new possibilities/options for future users.

Question: What would you need for a memorable and enjoyable visit to theatre?

For more information email:

YouTube: NHS Wales Awards The Spa experience

Feb 032017

Kathryn Greaves, National Project lead for the Safer Pregnancy Campaign

I will always remember the midwife who diligently guided me through my pregnancy, mindful of the pitfalls and tribulations I would encounter on my way.  When I developed pre eclampsia in the later stages of pregnancy and my husband (a serving soldier at the time) was away filling the gaps created by the ambulance strike in 1990, I will always remember the care and consideration of my doctors in taking good care of me in his absence.  When she arrived safely in the August I don’t think I appreciated how lucky I was to hold my healthy baby girl.

A beautiful bouncing baby is what we all expect these days when we become pregnant.   We live in a world where people assume all will be ok. Of course happy healthy mothers and babies is why we specialise in professions such as Midwifery and Obstetrics.  We know the pitfalls, we know the associated problems with pregnancy and childbirth, and we all know it’s only normal after the event.

Pregnancy and childbirth are everyday physiological events, but in today’s world where not all of us are in the peak of physical health and wellbeing, not everyone is ready for the trials of pregnancy.

Helping women and the wider community understand the need for pre-conceptual preparations for pregnancy is something we are all striving to create but worried we will never quite achieve.  The reality is that women arrive pregnant with a number of health and social issues that we need to support and manage together in pregnancy.

Not all pregnancies make it to full term.  Understanding and, more importantly, supporting women to understand some of the factors that could ensure a healthy safer pregnancy are key in addressing awareness of known risk factors to fetal loss.

There have been number of publications from the Welsh Government such as the Welsh Government Maternity Strategy Report from the Quality and Safety Sub-Group June 2013 and A Maternity Network for Wales July 2013, raising the importance for Wales in addressing the crushing effects of losing a baby.  The Maternity Network Wales have been driving a collective response to addressing these issues to ensure a collective shared responsibility between health professionals, the women and their families.

We need to work with women and the wider community to raise awareness about the loss of a baby and why some of the choices we make as women may affect the outcome of a pregnancy. Raising awareness and having difficult conversations with women is the only way that we can affect and hope to reduce the number of babies lost every year.  We are all using the GAP/GROW package to monitor the growth of babies. We must be honest with women about their personal health factors and supporting them gently to understand their own personal risks.

So how are we going to do this?

The Maternity Network, in collaboration with 1000 Lives Improvement are launching a “National Safer Pregnancy” campaign on the 28 March 2017 to introduce a bundle of care including resources for women and health professionals that will do what it says on the tin “raise awareness” and bring to the public arena health choices and factors influencing safer pregnancy.

We have a collective responsibility in ensuring that women and professionals have the right platform to address issues that affect healthy pregnancies. As National Project lead for the Safer Pregnancy campaign, I feel a great sense of pride in the work and input by the Health Boards and supporting partners in creating a bundle of care to share with the wider community. And after two years of collaborative work we are ready to share and work with our families as equal partners in taking responsibility for the protection of our babies.

The Safer Pregnancy Campaign page launches 28 March. Contact Kathryn at

If you have any concerns during your pregnancy speak to your midwife immediately. For more information on what you can do during pregnancy read the “Your pregnancy and baby guide”

Useful links:

Feb 032017

Kathryn Greaves, Arweinydd Prosiect Cenedlaethol yr Ymgyrch dros Feichiogrwydd Mwy Diogel

Byddaf wastad yn cofio’r fydwraig a’m tywysodd yn ofalus drwy fy meichiogrwydd, gan roi sylw i’r peryglon a’r anawsterau y byddwn yn eu hwynebu ar y daith.  Pan ddatblygais gyneclampsia yn ystod camau diweddarach fy meichiogrwydd tra roedd fy ngŵr (milwr ar y pryd) oddi cartref yn llenwi’r bylchau a grëwyd gan y streic ambiwlans yn 1990, byddaf wastad yn cofio’r gofal da a’r sylw a gefais gan fy noctoriaid ac yntau’n absennol.  Pan anwyd fy merch yn ddiogel ym mis Awst nid wyf yn credu fy mod wedi gwerthfawrogi pa mor lwcus oeddwn i o fod yn cydio yn fy merch fach iach.

Y dyddiau hyn rydym i gyd yn disgwyl rhoi genedigaeth i glamp o fabi mawr braf pan fyddwn yn feichiog.   Rydym yn byw mewn byd lle mae pobl yn cymryd yn ganiataol y bydd popeth yn iawn. Wrth gwrs, mamau a babanod iach a hapus yw’r rheswm pam rydym yn arbenigo mewn proffesiynau megis Bydwreigiaeth ac Obstetreg.  Rydym yn ymwybodol o’r peryglon, rydym yn ymwybodol o’r problemau sy’n gysylltiedig â beichiogrwydd a geni plentyn, ac rydym i gyd yn gwybod mai ar ôl y digwyddiad yn unig y gellir dweud ei fod yn normal.

Mae beichiogrwydd a genedigaeth plentyn yn ddigwyddiadau ffisiolegol beunyddiol, ond y dyddiau hyn, pan nad yw pob un ohonom ar ein gorau o ran ein hiechyd corfforol a lles, nid pawb yn barod am dreialon beichiogrwydd.

Rydym i gyd yn ymdrechu i helpu menywod a’r gymuned ehangach i ddeall yr angen i baratoi ar gyfer beichiogrwydd cyn cenhedlu, ond yn poeni na fyddwn yn cyflawni hynny’n llwyr.  Y realiti yw bod menywod yn beichiogi gyda nifer o faterion iechyd a chymdeithasol y mae angen i ni eu cefnogi a’u rheoli gyda’n gilydd yn ystod beichiogrwydd.

Nid pob beichiogrwydd sy’n cyrraedd y cyfnod llawn.  Mae deall ac, yn bwysicach, cefnogi menywod i ddeall rhai o’r ffactorau a allai sicrhau beichiogrwydd iachach a mwy diogel yn allweddol wrth fynd i’r afael ag ymwybyddiaeth o ffactorau risg hysbys mewn perthynas â cholli ffetws.

Cyhoeddwyd nifer o ddogfennau gan Lywodraeth Cymru megis  Adroddiad Strategaeth Famolaeth Llywodraeth Cymru gan yr Is-grŵp Ansawdd a Diogelwch Mehefin 2013 a Rhwydwaith Mamolaeth i Gymru Gorffennaf 2013 yn nodi pwysigrwydd mynd i’r afael ag effeithiau lloriol colli babi.  Mae Rhwydwaith Mamolaeth Cymru wedi bod yn arwain ymateb ar y cyd i fynd i’r afael â’r materion hyn i sicrhau bod gweithwyr iechyd proffesiynol, y menywod a’u teuluoedd yn rhannu’r cyfrifoldeb.

Mae angen i ni weithio gyda menywod a’r gymuned ehangach i godi ymwybyddiaeth ynglŷn â cholli babi a pham y gallai rhai o’r dewisiadau a wnawn fel menywod effeithio ar ganlyniad beichiogrwydd. Codi ymwybyddiaeth a chael sgyrsiau anodd â menywod yw’r unig ffordd y gallwn effeithio ar hyn a gobeithio y gallwn leihau nifer y babanod sy’n marw bob blwyddyn.  Rydym i gyd yn defnyddio’r pecyn GAP/GROW i fonitro twf babanod. Mae’n rhaid i ni fod yn onest â menywod ynglŷn â’u ffactorau iechyd personol a’u cefnogi i ddeall eu risgiau personol eu hunain.

Felly sut mae cyflawni hyn?

Mae’r Rhwydwaith Mamolaeth, mewn cydweithrediad â 1000 o Fywydau – Gwasanaeth Gwella yn lansio ymgyrch genedlaethol “Beichiogrwydd Mwy Diogel” ar 28 Mawrth 2017 i gyflwyno bwndel gofal, sy’n cynnwys adnoddau i fenywod a gweithwyr iechyd proffesiynol a fydd yn cyflawni’r hyn a ddywedir ary label, sef “codi ymwybyddiaeth” a sicrhau bod y dewisiadau a’r ffactorau iechyd sy’n dylanwadu ar feichiogrwydd mwy diogel yn hysbys i’r cyhoedd.

Mae gennym gyfrifoldeb ar y cyd i sicrhau bod menywod a gweithwyr proffesiynol yn cael y llwyfan cywir i fynd i’r afael â materion sy’n effeithio ar feichiogrwydd iach. Fel Arweinydd Prosiect Cenedlaethol yr ymgyrch dros Feichiogrwydd Mwy Diogel, mae gwaith a mewnbwn y Byrddau Iechyd a phartneriaid cefnogi wrth greu bwndel o ofal i’w rannu â’r gymuned ehangach yn destun balchder sylweddol i mi. Ac ar ôl dwy flynedd o waith ar y cyd rydym yn barod i rannu a chydweithio â’n teuluoedd fel partneriaid cyfartal wrth gymryd cyfrifoldeb am ddiogelu ein babanod.

Mae tudalen ymgyrch Beichiogrwydd Mwy Diogel yn cael ei lansio ar 28 Mawrth. Cysylltwch â Kathryn ar

Os oes gennych unrhyw bryderon yn ystod eich beichiogrwydd siaradwch â’ch bydwraig ar unwaith. Am ragor o wybodaeth ynglŷn â’r hyn y gallwch ei wneud yn ystod beichiogrwydd, darllenwch “Eich canllaw i feichiogrwydd a’ch baban”

Dolenni defnyddiol:

Nov 162016
Paul Myres, Programme Lead, Choosing Wisely Wales

Paul Myres, Programme Lead, Choosing Wisely Wales

When I was a lad, if you were ill you tried homemade remedies first – mostly pretty horrible. When I had a cold with a cough and green “snot” the doctor gave me antibiotics. I didn’t question it.

When I trained to be a doctor I was given lots of technical knowledge and excellent diagnostic skills and I learnt which treatment went with which diagnosis.

As a GP I used to ask patients what they thought the matter was. Most replied that it was up to me to tell them and then prescribe the right pill. Sometimes I told patients about side effects and sometimes they listened but were often surprised when they got them.

I used to decide what tests were needed and patients usually turned up for the test. Sometimes tests cause more uncertainties rather than produce answers.

So “doctor knows best”.  I don’t think so. And Choosing Wisely Wales doesn’t think so and nor do many others.

Choosing Wisely Wales

The clinician (not just the doctor) is an expert in diagnosis and knowing what tests and treatments may help. The patient (or individual with the health problem) is the expert about their body, their life and their community.

Both can access information about health, disease, tests and treatment from the internet, books, magazines and friends. The clinician has the expertise in assessing how good or relevant that information is and the patient is best able to apply that to their own circumstances providing they understand the words and messages.

How about if clinicians and patients had more equal conversations more often? Ones perhaps  more open and honest where the patient gets the opportunity to explain how they feel, how their problem impacts on their life, what they are worried about, what is important to them and what they expect or hope will (or will not) happen.

The clinician explains what the likely problem is and what evidence (research) suggests should be done. They also explain what improvement to expect but also what risks there may be and how easy it will be to provide the care.

The patient asks for more information. What else could we do? What harm might happen? How likely am I to get better? Will I be able to do what I need to do next week or the week after? What will happen if we do nothing? What can I do to help myself?

There won’t always be definite answers and sometimes there just won’t be enough time but this conversation will help make a shared decision more common. It means both patient and clinician are taking responsibility for the choices made both appreciating that whilst a good outcome is likely there is a risk something unintended might happen.

We know many treatments in the NHS can cause harm. That isn’t the intention but it happens. We know which treatments or tests are more likely to cause new problems than solve current ones. It makes sense to avoid those most of the time.

Choosing Wisely Wales is part of an international movement led by clinicians in partnership with patients. It aims to change or rebalance clinical conversations recognising patient and clinician as near equal partners bringing different knowledge and skills to reach an agreed plan to improve the wellbeing of one of them.

It is recommending that patients be more confident in asking four questions about suggested tests and treatment. It encourages clinicians to explain the options or choices for patients based on appropriate evidence, which is shared in the conversation.

Choosing Wisely Wales suggests several tests and treatments that should normally be avoided as of low benefit but which may occasionally be of value. It suggests alternatives to be discussed and recognises that the final choice rests with the clinician and patient together.

Dr Paul Myres is the programme lead for Choosing Wisely Wales and Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Wales. He is also a GP in Wrexham.

Choosing Wisely Wales was launched in September and is part of an international movement. It is led in Wales through a partnership of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in Wales, Board of Community Health Councils and Public Health Wales and supported by Welsh Government.

For further information, visit or follow @ChoosingWiselyW on Twitter, or like on Facebook: Choosing Wisely Wales

Sep 132016

tdg-tronThe first time I ever saw or heard of Sepsis it was on a death certificate. The death certificate was my brother’s. I remember squinting across the registrar’s table at this little word next to “primary cause of death.” It meant nothing to me.

My brother was… is… Mark. He was 41 years old, married with a 3 year old daughter. He had a family and a future.

At midday on Thursday 31st May, 2012 Mark walked into A&E (London) with stomach pains. By 17.15p.m. he had suffered a cardiac arrest. By 19.00p.m. he was on a ventilator with a 50/50 chance of survival. By 01.00a.m. on Friday 1st June, his kidneys had failed, his odds had shortened and his family were on the M4 having received the phone call nobody wants. The next morning his heart was too weak for dialysis. We know now that he was in septic shock. Multiple organ failure. He fought hard on his last day as did all the ITU staff. Everyone gave everything but sepsis won. He died peacefully lunchtime on Saturday 2nd June.

We couldn’t believe how this had happened. He had a stomach bug. How could we have lost a son, a brother, a husband, and Sophie a dad? Well, what I know now which I didn’t know then is that it can happen, it does happen and it happens far too often. In fact it happens 44,000 times a year in the UK. 2,200 times in Wales. I thought we were one in a million. We were not.

Sepsis is a car crash illness. It is indiscriminate and can affect anyone. It kills nearly a third of all the people it touches. That’s more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. Shocking isn’t it? You know what’s also shocking? If spotted early it’s treatable and preventable.

It’s fair to say that sepsis changed my life. It does that to lives.

Not long after Mark died I met Ron Daniels of the United Kingdom Sepsis Trust and began raising awareness in Wales. I’m now Executive Director of UK Sepsis Trust in Wales. I’ve met Ministers, cycled from West Wales to Westminster fund raising, I speak in schools, at hospitals, to the people in shops and on buses. We have engaged Welsh Government in our work, a cross-party group has been established.  People are listening.

I listen too; to survivors and how they have struggled post sepsis, to the bereaved and how they struggle too.

Awareness and education is everything. People need to know what sepsis is and what it can do. We need to get to a stage where public and health professionals alike are thinking about and recognise sepsis. They need to see it coming because it hides really well. As Mohammed Ali said, “His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see” Ironically he recently died from sepsis.

I’ve been helped along the way by some wonderful people both inside and outside healthcare. .  I am on the RRAILS steering group.   As such, I’ve seen first-hand the incredible hard work of dedicated NHS Wales staff committed to improve practice to improve outcomes. The programme is doing some great work striving to educate NHS Wales staff on Sepsis.  We want the same thing.

We’ve even won an award for it! It was fantastic for The Global Sepsis Alliance to recognise and reward NHS Wales for its awareness and education initiatives.


We cannot afford to lose momentum. There can be no resting on laurels. We should celebrate what has been done, be proud but also continue to challenge and champion what still needs to be done. For me, there has to be a collective effort from Community to Cabinet. We need a common language for patients and practice. The patients need a pathway, an All Wales pathway. If we speak about sepsis the same, we can think about sepsis the same. It brings us together and as we say here in Wales… “together, stronger”.

Want to get involved?


Sep 132016

tdg-tronY tro cyntaf i mi weld neu glywed am Sepsis oedd ar dystysgrif marwolaeth. Tystysgrif marwolaeth fy mrawd oedd hi. Dw i’n cofio craffu dros fwrdd y cofrestrydd ar y gair bach wrth ymyl “prif achos marwolaeth”. Doedd yn golygu dim i mi.

Mark oedd…yw…fy mrawd. Roedd yn 41 oed, yn briod a chando ferch 3 oed. Roedd ganddo deulu a dyfodol.

Am hanner dydd, ddydd Mawrth 31 Mai 2012, cerddodd Mark i mewn i’r Uned Damweiniau ac Achosion Brys (Llundain) gyda phoenau yn ei stumog. Erbyn 17.15pm roedd wedi cael ataliad ar y galon. Erbyn 19.00 roedd ar beiriant anadlu gyda siawns o 50% y byddai’n goroesi. Erbyn 01.00 ddydd Gwener 1 Mehefin roedd ei arennau wedi methu, roedd ei siawns o oroesi wedi lleihau ac roedd ei deulu ar yr M4 ar ôl derbyn yr alwad ffôn nad oes neb ei heisiau. Drannoeth roedd ei galon yn rhy wan i gael dialysis. Rydym yn gwybod nawr ei fod mewn sioc sepsis. Methiant nifer o organau. Brwydrodd yn galed ar ei ddiwrnod olaf fel y gwnaeth holl staff yr Uned Therapi Dwys. Rhoddodd bawb bopeth o fewn eu gallu, ond sepsis a enillodd y dydd. Bu farw’n dawel amser cinio ddydd Sadwrn 2 Mehefin.

Doedden ni ddim yn credu sut roedd hyn wedi digwydd. Byg stumog oedd ganddo. Sut gallen ni fod wedi colli mab, brawd, gŵr, a Sophie ei thad? Wel, yr hyn rwy’n ei wybod nawr nad oeddwn i’n ei wybod ar y pryd yw ei fod yn gallu digwydd, a’i fod yn digwydd yn rhy aml o lawer. Yn wir mae’n digwydd 44,000 gwaith y flwyddyn yn y DU. 2,200 gwaith yng Nghymru. Roeddwn i’n meddwl ein bod ni’n un mewn miliwn. Ond doedden ni ddim.

Mae sepsis yn salwch sy’n cael ei ddisgrifio fel damwain car. Nid yw’n gwahaniaethu a gall effeithio ar unrhyw un. Mae’n lladd traean o’r bobl y mae’n eu cyffwrdd . Mae hynny’n fwy na chanser y fron, y coluddyn a’r prostad gyda’i gilydd. Mae’n syfrdanol yn tydi? A wyddoch chi beth arall sy’n syfrdanol? Os caiff ei ganfod yn gynnar, mae modd ei drin a’i atal.

Mae’n deg dweud bod sepsis wedi newid fy mywyd. Mae’n gwneud hynny i fywydau.

Ychydig ar ôl i Mark farw mi wnes i gwrdd â Ron Daniels o Ymddiriedolaeth Sepsis y Deyrnas Unedig a dechreuais godi ymwybyddiaeth yng Nghymru. Rwyf nawr yn Gyfarwyddwr Gweithredol Ymddiriedolaeth Sepsis yng Nghymru. Rwyf wedi cwrdd â Gweinidogion, wedi seiclo o Orllewin Cymru i San Steffan i godi arian, rwy’n siarad mewn ysgolion, mewn ysbytai, gyda phobl mewn siopau ac ar fysiau. Rydym wedi cynnwys Llywodraeth Cymru yn ein gwaith, ac mae grŵp hollbleidiol wedi ei sefydlu. Mae pobl yn gwrando.

Rydw innau’n gwrando hefyd;  ar oroeswyr a sut maen nhw wedi brwydro ar ôl sepsis, ac i’r rhai sydd wedi cael profedigaeth a sut maent hwythau hefyd yn brwydro.

Ymwybyddiaeth ac addysg yw popeth. Mae angen i bobl wybod beth yw sepsis a’r hyn y mae’n gallu ei wneud. Rydym angen cyrraedd pwynt ble mae’r cyhoedd a gweithwyr iechyd proffesiynol fel ei gilydd yn meddwl am sepsis ac yn ei adnabod. Mae angen iddyn nhw ei weld yn dod  oherwydd mae’n cuddio’n dda. Fel y dywedodd Mohamed Ali, “Ni all ei ddwylo daro’r hyn na all ei lygaid ei weld”. Yn eironig iawn, bu yntau farw o sepsis yn ddiweddar.

Rwyf wedi cael cymorth ar hyd y daith gan bobl hyfryd o fewn y maes gofal iechyd a’r tu allan iddo. Rwy’n aelod o grŵp llywio RRAILS. O ganlyniad, rwyf wedi gweld drosof fi fy hun y gwaith anhygoel o galed a wneir gan staff ymroddedig GIG Cymru  sydd wedi hymrwymo i wella ymarfer er mwyn gwella canlyniadau. Mae’r rhaglen yn gwneud gwaith da o ran ymdrechu i addysgu staff GIG Cymru ar sepsis. Rydym ni oll eisiau’r un peth.

Rydym hyd yn oed wedi ennill gwobr! Roedd yn wych bod Cynghrair Sepsis y Byd wedi cydnabod a gwobrwyo GIG Cymru am ei fentrau codi ymwybyddiaeth a’i fentrau addysgol.


Ni allwn fforddio colli momentwm. Ni allwn orffwys ar ein rhwyfau. Dylem ddathlu’r hyn sydd wedi ei wneud hyd yma, ymfalchïo yn hynny ond hefyd parhau i herio a hyrwyddo yr hyn sydd angen ei wneud . I mi, mae’n rhaid cael ymdrech ar y cyd o’r Gymuned i’r Cabinet. Mae angen iaith gyffredin arnom ar gyfer cleifion ac ymarfer. Mae angen llwybr ar gleifion, llwybr Cymru Gyfan. Os byddwn yn siarad am sepsis yn yr un ffordd, gallwn feddwl am sepsis yn yr un ffordd. Mae’n dod â ni ynghyd ac fel y dywedwn yma yng Nghymru “gorau chwarae, cyd chwarae”.

Ydych chi eisiau bod yn rhan?


Aug 022016
Amanda Wilkinson, nursing student at Bangor Univeristy

Amanda Wilkinson, nursing student at Bangor Univeristy

I was so pleased to have the opportunity to attend the Patient Safety Congress. I have been keen to get involved and find out more about 1000 Lives Improvement and this was an opportunity to spend time with members of the team and learn from healthcare professionals all over the world that would be in attendance. It was great to meet fellow nursing student Bianca Jourdain from Swansea University.

From the beginning I felt empowered by Dr Suzette Woodward, director of ‘Sign up to Safety’ who valued pride for patient safety and recognised that staff should be cared for when involved in incidents. Dr Woodward spoke of compassion, trust and human conversations which link with the fundamentals of care that I am learning in my first year as an adult nursing student. The words which resonated with me the most are:

 “Learn as much as possible and never be judgemental”.

Dr Claire Gordon, Consultant in Acute Medicine at Lothian University Hospitals NHS Trust explained how planning is important in patient care with involvement from the patient and the multidisciplinary team. Clear plans should be used however small such as ‘today Mrs Jones the plan for you is to walk ten steps’. The use of planning and ‘leading indicators’ was also spoken of by Professor Maxine Power, Director of Haelo,  who also valued communication with the whole team when planning improvement. “Staff need to be aware of what they are measuring and why”. Receiving feedback means staff can see the process is worthwhile and continue to measure. Always Events® took this another step further and suggested that improvement planning should involve patients, families, carers and staff.

Technology featured prominently at the Congress. There were many companies offering electronic recording for patients’ observations with automatic escalation to the doctor and prompts, reminders and task management. Datix also attended, they showed their reporting of incidents to Bianca and I. We then achieved the second highest score on their quiz, coming second only to their own manager – another win for us both and we got to take home @thedatixbear as a reward.

Students Amanda and Bianca with the Datix bear

Students Amanda and Bianca with the Datix bear

Strong themes of trust and teamwork prevailed across the talks over the two days which was widely considered to promote openness and courage for staff to report and learn from incidents without the worry of blame. Whilst a large aspect of the Congress explored new technology for collecting and analysing data; it was evident to me that the culture within the teams was fundamental to achieving this. The need for clinical competence and judgement was highly regarded: not to over rely on checklists and numbers – sometimes a patient is ‘just not right’ and we should not be afraid to act on this.

Patient safety wasn’t the only lesson for me – I also mastered the use of chopsticks when we went to China Town for supper!

I found it sad when the Congress came to an end but was reminded by Dave Hill, Service Improvement Manager at 1000 Lives Improvement, that this is just the beginning of my journey. This experience has increased my enthusiasm and commitment to quality improvement as part of my nursing career. Thank you 1000 Lives Improvement for making it possible and for making Bianca and I feel like part of the team.

Please take a minute to look at this inspirational leadership video that was shown by Advancing Quality Alliance:

Aug 022016
Amanda Wilkinson, nursing student at Bangor Univeristy

Amanda Wilkinson, nursing student at Bangor Univeristy

Roeddwn mor falch o gael y cyfle i fynychu’r Gynhadledd Diogelwch Cleifion. Rwyf wedi bod yn awyddus i gymryd rhan a chael gwybod mwy am 1000 o Fywydau – Gwasanaeth Gwella ac roedd hwn yn gyfle i dreulio amser gydag aelodau o’r tîm a dysgu oddi wrth weithwyr gofal iechyd proffesiynol o bob cwr o’r byd a fyddai’n bresennol yn y gynhadledd. Roedd yn wych cwrdd â chyd-fyfyriwr nyrsio Bianca Jourdain o Brifysgol Abertawe.

O’r cychwyn cefais fy ngrymuso gan Dr Suzette Woodward, cyfarwyddwr ‘Sign up to Safety‘, a oedd yn rhoi pwys ar falchder mewn diogelwch cleifion ac yn cydnabod y dylai staff gael gofal pan oeddent yn gysylltiedig â digwyddiadau. Siaradodd Dr Woodward am dosturi, ymddiriedaeth a sgyrsiau dynol sy’n cysylltu â’r hanfodion gofal rwy’n dysgu amdanynt yn ystod fy mlwyddyn gyntaf fel myfyriwr nyrsio oedolion. Y geiriau a atseiniodd gyda mi fwyaf yw:

 “Dysgwch gymaint ag y bo modd a pheidiwch byth â barnu”

Esboniodd Dr Claire Gordon, Ymgynghorydd mewn Meddygaeth Aciwt yn Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Ysbytai Prifysgol Lothian sut mae cynllunio’n bwysig o ran gofal cleifion gyda chyfraniad gan y claf a’r tîm amlddisgyblaethol. Dylid defnyddio cynlluniau clir waeth pa mor fach ydynt, fel ‘heddiw Mrs Jones y cynllun yw i chi gerdded deg cam’. Soniwyd am y defnydd o gynllunio a ‘dangosyddion arweiniol’ hefyd gan yr Athro Maxine Power, Cyfarwyddwr Haelo, a oedd hefyd yn rhoi pwysau mawr ar gyfathrebu gyda’r tîm cyfan wrth gynllunio gwelliant. “Mae angen i staff fod yn ymwybodol o’r hyn y maent yn ei fesur a pham”. Mae cael adborth yn golygu bod y staff yn gallu gweld bod y broses yn werth chweil a pharhau i fesur. Aeth Always Events® â hyn gam ymhellach ac awgrymodd y dylai’r broses o gynllunio gwelliannau gynnwys cleifion, teuluoedd, gofalwyr a staff.

Rhoddwyd sylw amlwg i dechnoleg yn y Gynhadledd. Roedd llawer o gwmnïau’n cynnig cyfleusterau cofnodi electronig ar gyfer arsylwi cleifion a oedd yn cyfeirio cleifion yn awtomatig at feddyg gan gynnig awgrymiadau, nodiadau atgoffa a chyfleuster rheoli tasgau. Roedd Datix hefyd yn bresennol, gan ddangos eu dull cofnodi digwyddiadau i Bianca a minnau. Yna cawsom y sgôr uchaf ond un ar y cwis, gan ddod yn ail i’w rheolwr – buddugoliaeth arall i ni ac aethom adref gyda @thedatixbear yn wobr.

Myfyrwyr Amanda a Bianca â’r ‘Datix Bear’

Daeth themâu cryf o ymddiriedaeth a gwaith tîm i’r amlwg yn y trafodaethau yn ystod y ddau ddiwrnod ac ystyriwyd eu bod yn hyrwyddo amgylchedd agored a dewrder i staff adrodd am ddigwyddiadau heb boeni am gael eu beio, a dysgu o’r digwyddiadau hynny. Er bod ymchwilio i dechnoleg ar gyfer casglu a dadansoddi data yn agwedd fawr ar y Gynhadledd; roedd yn amlwg i mi bod y diwylliant o fewn y timau yn hollbwysig er mwyn cyflawni hyn. Rhoddwyd pwys mawr ar yr angen am gymhwysedd a barn: peidio â gorddibynnu ar restrau gwirio a rhifau – weithiau dyw claf ‘jest ddim yn iawn’ ac ni ddylem ofni gweithredu ar hyn.

Nid diogelwch cleifion oedd yr unig wers i mi ei dysgu – llwyddais i feistroli’r defnydd o chopsticks pan aethom i China Town am swper!

Roeddwn yn drist pan ddaeth y Gynhadledd i ben ond cefais fy atgoffa gan Dave Hill, Rheolwr Gwella Gwasanaethau 1000 o Fywydau, mai dim ond dechrau fy nhaith yw hyn. Mae’r profiad hwn wedi cynyddu fy mrwdfrydedd a’m hymrwymiad i wella ansawdd fel rhan o’m gyrfa nyrsio. Diolch yn fawr 1000 o Fywydau am wneud hyn yn bosibl ac am wneud i Bianca a minnau deimlo’n rhan o’r tîm.

Treuliwch funud yn edrych ar y fideo arweinyddiaeth ysbrydoledig a ddangoswyd gan Advancing Quality Alliance: