May 132014
 
Helen Price

Anitha Uddin

In April, I was fortunate to attend the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Paris. It was an eye-opening experience that taught me so much.

A particular idea I took away was that quality improvement should not be considered an extra-curricular activity; it should be embedded into current practice. And since student nurses are the ones who will be working in healthcare in the coming years, it needs to remain the bedrock of our education.

That’s why I found the nursing discussion session so inspirational. I met nurses from around the globe who all shared a similar vision about healthcare and quality improvement, and we discussed everything from policy and education, to current nursing practices and quality improvement. Continue reading »

May 132014
 
Helen Price

Helen Price

While attending the International Forum for Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Paris last month, I felt so privileged to be given the opportunity to be part of a global community which has such passion and enthusiasm for making healthcare better.

In her keynote address, Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, set the tone for the event. She described how healthcare is stuck in a gravitational pull of existing systems, and that to escape this requires new ideas, inspiration and collective impact. She said, “The power of an audacious goal accelerates change, bringing people together to make the impossible possible”. It was truly awe-inspiring.

One theme that was much talked about in many sessions was the importance of patient engagement. As Dr Morten Pytte from DNV-GL said, the call for patient-centred care, the 6 Cs, co-production and a collective approach to care has never been louder! It is clear that we need to bridge the gap between what we preach and what happens in practice. Continue reading »

May 092014
 
Andrew Cooper

Andrew Cooper

We recently launched the Ask about Clots campaign in Wales.

It aims to increase public awareness over the risk of developing a blood clot while in hospital. The health campaign’s simple message encourages individuals to ask about their personal risk so that they can be assessed and treated appropriately.

As we know, the major consideration for any campaign is what will actually engage people and motivate them to take the desired action?

In developing Ask about Clots, we focussed on three main areas which we believed were necessary to enable and encourage people to start asking! Continue reading »

May 022014
 
Mike Davidge

Mike Davidge

When Don Berwick features the Dalai Lama in a keynote presentation, you know something is going on.  When he compounds that by linking health to an 18th century British clockmaker and talks about being kind to one another and the benefits of charity giving, you might be forgiven for thinking he’d sort of lost the plot.

Well maybe except for two things.  Firstly, it was his delivery.  The keynote was delivered in his very understated style.  Those reassuring East Coast tones lend gravitas and are so reminiscent of Alastair Cooke – not the England cricket captain but the BBC’s long time US correspondent – and his Letters from America.  We trust this man not to lead us astray. Continue reading »

May 022014
 
Tim Heywood

Tim Heywood

The main hall of the Palais des congrès in Paris is an enormous space. For fans of trivia, it was the venue for the Eurovision Song contest in 1978. The 3000 plus delegates at the Quality Forum may have been there for a very different reason, but there was something about the design of the building and the international mix of the delegates, that kept nostalgic thoughts of the 1970’s returning to my mind (Israel won Eurovision that year, if you are interested).

This was my second visit to the Forum – my first was 6 years ago, the year that the 1000 Lives Campaign was launched, and it struck me how even 2008 is starting to feel like a long time ago. Caught in the cycle of daily work it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that nothing much changes about the issues we confront and the opportunities we have to change them. Having the opportunity to take a step back and take a different view of your own work context was a good reminder of how mistaken that is. Continue reading »

Apr 222014
 
Dr Simon Noble

Dr Simon Noble

62% of people in Wales believe that air travel is the main cause of blood clots, according to research we worked on for the Ask about Clots campaign. And it’s a damaging misconception – because there is a far greater risk of develop a clot when in hospital.

In fact, you are 1000 times more likely to develop a clot during or in the 90 days following hospital treatment. That’s why the misconception is a fatal one, because blood clots can cost lives.

Through my work with Lifeblood, we’ve tried to raise awareness that blood clots are the most common cause of preventable hospital deaths. And the more people know about clots, the more likely it is we’ll be able to prevent them.

Ask about Clots Infographic 3 Parts Continue reading »

Apr 072014
 
Ruth Hussey

Lloyd Evans

Clots. A word many have heard of, but I wonder how many understand the effect this five-letter word has on the health and wellbeing of our population.  The answer according to the Ask about Clots campaign launched last week: not enough!

As a final-year medical student approaching the start of a career within the NHS, I attended the launch of Ask about Clots with the realisation that in a little over four months, this topic would well and truly be hitting me square in the face.  Despite years of lectures, tutorials, and clinical attachments, I was taken aback by the facts: Continue reading »

Apr 032014
 
Ruth Hussey

Dr Ruth Hussey, OBE

Today sees the launch of the Ask about Clots campaign, which I believe will play a significant role in reducing the numbers of people dying as a result of thrombosis.The new campaign, developed by 1000 Lives Improvement, is encouraging patients and members of the public to ask healthcare professionals about their risk of developing a thrombosis. This is particularly important as new research indicates that 62% of people in Wales believe they are more likely to develop thrombosis on an aeroplane than in hospital. The reality is that the risk is a thousand times greater for hospital patients.

In Wales, it’s estimated that every year 1,250 people who receive hospital treatment could die from a thrombosis that developed during or shortly after their hospital stay. A large percentage of these thrombosis-related deaths are preventable.

We know that behind every statistic lies a story. Michelle, from North Wales, has recorded a video interview about her daughter, Claire. At the age of 22, Claire collapsed and died of a pulmonary embolism.

Michelle is supporting the Ask about Clots campaign to raise awareness of thrombosis. She believes that if she had been more aware of the dangers of thrombosis, things could have been very different.

Claire had been unwell for a while, and had outlined her symptoms to doctors. However, the first time thrombosis was mentioned was in the coroner’s report. In the video, Michelle says, “If I had known what I know now and forced the issue for this to be checked, she would still be with us.”

We hope that Ask about Clots will help more people understand the risks of thrombosis, and be alert to it. This will lead to clinical staff and patients working in partnership to reduce the risk of thrombosis.

Encouraging people to Ask about Clots is therefore a great example of ‘co-production’ in healthcare. When people are informed and participating in their healthcare, we would expect to see improved health outcomes.

I am pleased to see the support for this campaign from healthcare professionals. We need to be ready to respond to patients when they ask about it so that they can be correctly assessed and the appropriate life-saving interventions provided.

Find out more at www.askaboutclots.co.uk

Dr Ruth Hussey, OBE, is the Chief Medical Officer for Wales. Find her on Twitter at @CMOWales

Read the report from the one day inquiry into thrombosis in hospitals

Mar 032014
 

A member of our student community, Ilaria Pignatelli, is the Campaign Manager for Ask One Question. She tells us about their simple pledge for NHS Change Day.

Ilaria Pignatelli

Ilaria Pignatelli

We ask a lot of questions through medical school. History taking and skills practice bring up some valid questions, but are we always asking the right ones?

The thought of visiting hospital can be a scary and unpleasant experience for many patients, so after asking all the routine questions; why not ask: “What can I do to improve your stay?”

The Ask One Question campaign is doing just that. It’s a world-wide, student-led healthcare improvement initiative, encouraging students to ask their patients: “What can I do to improve your stay?” and, when possible, act on their requests. It was started by students in Cardiff who have already gained recognition outside of Wales.1, 2 Continue reading »

Feb 202014
 
Paul Gimson

Paul Gimson

Imagine what a primary care service might look like if we gave the patients the money and asked them to design it themselves. This was the story I heard recently at a presentation given by the Southcentral Foundation, a citizen-owned health-service provider based in Anchorage, Alaska.

The presentation was at a recent event in Cardiff looking at Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka system of primary care. It’s ‘A customer-owner driven overhaul of a bureaucratic system centrally controlled, to one in which the local people are in control.’ It is the use of this term customer-owner which is one of the most striking features of the Nuka system.

The idea of a patient as a customer might feel wrong in the context of the NHS, but in this case the term represented a shift from a service designed around a medical model to one where the patient’s needs were put first. The provocative question for us is, if we considered patients as customers would that improve the experience of being a patient in NHS Wales? Continue reading »