Senior Quality Improvement Manager
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
England - Greater ManchesterEngland - North West CoastEngland - Yorkshire and HumberEngland - national
I am a Senior Quality Improvement Manager and a UK registered independent prescribing pharmacist with a specialist interest in improving patient safety. I am also the Patient Safety Specialist for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I have expertise in evaluating quality improvement (QI) initiatives, focussing on sharing best practices and improving system shortcomings. I have experience in implementing change at international, national and local levels. I am passionate about helping to drive transformation within the NHS and ultimately improving outcomes for patients.
I have worked within healthcare for over 12 years, working my way up from a healthcare assistant in community pharmacy, to my current aforementioned roles. Early within my career, I developed an interest in medication safety. This was after realising that medication-related harm is one of the most common causes of harm to patients globally and is often preventable. I am also particularly interested in measurement for improvement, as measurement is vital for knowing whether improvement is occurring. Therefore, after achieving a first class Master’s degree in Pharmacy, I completed a fully-funded PhD that involved the evaluation of an NHS England commissioned QI tool used to measure medication safety over time, called the Medication Safety Thermometer.
The Medication Safety Thermometer was used by over 100 healthcare organisations, with the aim of aiding medication safety improvement. Over 300, 000 patients were surveyed over time. Although not currently used in the UK, the tool is now used internationally in countries including Brazil, Qatar and New Zealand and I have worked with various countries to facilitate this. For example, I was invited as a keynote speaker by the Brazilian Ministry of Health to share my work at their second national patient safety conference. My evaluation of this tool led to significant changes in the way the tool and its data were used. Lessons learnt from my evaluation, including, both positive and negative uses of Medication Safety Thermometer data, have been reported in various peer-reviewed that I have written, and have been presented at a variety of national and international conferences. Additionally lessons learnt have been presented to academic health science network leaders, hospital board members and frontline staff. I have always disseminated research to the healthcare frontline and kept stakeholders up-to-date along the way during projects, as I believe that improvements should be shared as they arise, to encourage further improvement, rather than waiting for reports to be completed.
I believe evaluation of QI tools is very important, particularly data collection tools as data are often collected but not used. I am a passionate problem solver and enjoy helping frontline teams use their data, and identify and investigate special cause variation. I have experience of disseminating QI work and have written several reports and I have developed and ran workshops regarding reporting quality improvement for the Health Foundation’s scaling up improvement programme.
Towards the end of my PhD, I secured a research associate post with Haelo, where I completed a project commissioned by the Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre regarding the use of the Medication Safety Thermometer in Greater Manchester.
Following the completion of my PhD and research associate post, I acted as interim evaluation lead at Haelo, where I was involved with a number of projects including designing, developing and implementing quality of life measures to help assess the impact of new services for “Salford Together” (Salford’s Integrated Care System [ICS]), which allowed me to gain a better understanding of ICSs and the future landscape of the NHS. After Haelo’s amalgamation with Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA),I became an affiliate specialist evaluation advisor for AQuA where I have led on various projects such as the qualitative element of a Health Foundation funded project to evaluate the implementation of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS+). ERAS+ was scaled-up across greater Manchester as part of the Health Foundation’s Scaling up Improvement programme. We received extremely positive feedback from the Health Foundation regarding our evaluation, which was supported by colleagues from RUBIS Qi.
Alongside my roles in academia and QI, I have also worked on the frontline for over a decade. I have worked in hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy and most recently as a Senior Clinical Pharmacist in general practice. As our practice serves a predominantly older population, I have experience in implementing frailty index scoring, utilising technological innovations that help us to systematically case-find, identify and support patients who need more support in a proactive manner rather than a reactive manner, supporting those who may be experiencing health decline. Such tools can also be used to help prevent the risk of further health decline.
I have used my QI experiences within my pharmacist role also, for example, our practice was one of the first in Doncaster to integrate pharmacy teams, therefore I have used my experience to support our local Primary Care Network and Clinical Commissioning Group to recruit and interview pharmacists across Doncaster. I believe my experience in primary care allows me to greater empathise with colleagues when delivering change and work with them to create context-specific solutions.
I believe that in order to normalise QI into healthcare practice, it should be incorporated into undergraduate syllabuses from an early stage and that it is beneficial for potential undergraduate students to have an awareness of QI before starting their studie. Therefore, I am passionate about teaching and as part of wider dissemination work relating to my PhD, I designed and delivered a medication-safety module for a school pupils in Derbyshire, which involved teaching students how to interpret statistical process control charts. I have also been involved with other widening participation work including encouraging female students to apply for STEM subjects; an inequality that I am particularly passionate about.
Q Exchange ideas
The Blackpool Safety Barometer is a clinical area-level dashboard that enables teams to view safety data at a glance. This includes harm data, positive safety data and safety culture indicators.
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