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What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

The NE and Cumbria MSOs (pharmacists from all sectors) meet bimonthly to share medication safety concerns, discuss incidents and work collaboratively to improve patient safety. Experience of QI within the group is quite limited and only three of the members belong to Q. Safety concerns and themes are often discussed but actions to prevent recurrence are limited and vary locally depending on the MSO’s QI experience. This project aims to improve the QI knowledge and skills of the MSOs across the region through teaching, practical experience and coaching. The teaching will be based on validated methods from providers who are happy to share materials for this purpose and will supported by coaching. It is hoped that the knowledge and skills gained will be used in collaborative working to improve patient medication safety in response to incidents and themes. It is also hoped that the individuals participating in this work will go on to become Q members and increase our network pharmacist numbers.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The main objectives of this project are to:

  • Increase MSOs’ knowledge of QI methodology through study days, workshops, peer support, coaching, mentoring and on-line resources
  • To share this knowledge further at MSOs’ base Trusts
  • To carry out collaborative QI work in response to common medication safety issues

Faculty would be mainly local volunteers from participating organisations including Q members from different professional backgrounds with experience in QI. Local Trust QI groups and networks would also be encouraged to get involved. Trust venues would be used to minimise costs.

This would be measured in the following ways:

  • Participant questionnaires to assess knowledge before and after training
  • Participant questionnaires to assess confidence before and after training
  • Number of collaborative QI projects carried out in the region in the year after training
  • Number of NE pharmacists enrolled as members of Q

How will the project be delivered?

It is hoped that local Q members and other QI experts will help to deliver training and share their resources. We hope to create a faculty of interested parties representing all the primary and secondary care organisations who are members of the MSO network, including mental health trusts and the ambulance service. The MSO is a well-established network of pharmacists who have worked together for several years now and have a common interest in improving medication safety for our patients. Many of our pharmacists move into new roles in neighbouring Trusts therefore a collaborative approach to safety can only be an advantage. There should be no risk attached to this project as long as the whole NE and Cumbria MSO Network is engaged in and dedicates time to this project.

It would be useful to hear from any Q members who already have material that could be adapted or who have run cross-boundary initiatives like this in the past.

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?

This project will hopefully demonstrate how QI capability can be improved across boundaries within the NHS by including MSOs from CCGs, acute trusts, mental health and ambulance service. Members also have links with nursing home and GP practice pharmacists for even wider spread of capability perhaps by using a train the trainer approach in the long term. The success of the training would be measured in the number of QI projects undertaken across the region including poster presentations, workshop sessions at events and perhaps even publications. Other measures such as participant confidence and knowledge acquired would give an idea of the success of the training programme. It would be easy to share any learning through the Q network, national MSO and pharmacy events, intranet forums and MSO webexes.

How you can contribute

  • Any information about similar projects run in your region
  • Suggestions for methods of teaching and measures
  • Any useful material you may have used successfully including on-line resources
  • Your time to join our faculty if you are interested in this project

Plan timeline

29 Nov 2019 Expressions of interest to be involved, including faculty
3 Jan 2020 Deadline
3 Feb 2020 Project starts
6 Apr 2020 First training events
31 Dec 2020 Project end


  1. Great idea, with lots of scope as Integrated Care spreads. North Cumbria would absolutely want to be involved, and I am happy to help encourage pharmacists to get involved with Q and this project.

  2. This is a great idea. Pharmacists are key resource in so many attempts to improve the quality and safety of care and giving this crucial group QI training so they can use a systematic approach and consistent language could have a big knock on effect with the teams they work with.

  3. Great proposal Lorna, Medication Safety is such an important topic and ways to increase capability across boundaries in the Northeast would be well received.

    I wonder if it would be worth using the adapted AQuA one day QI Practitioner training for your group to contribute to increasing MSOs’ knowledge of QI methodology?

    Also could you evaluate the MSO's knowledge pre and post interventions to assess increased knowledge?

  4. Thanks for your comments Anna and MaryCate and for taking the time to read our proposal. We hope to grow capability through a shared improvement programme. The NE and Cumbria MSO network is a really well established group of pharmacists who are keen to work together. Our staff (and patients) often move within the region and a shared programme would ensure everyone was thinking in the same way and focusing on common themes (hopefully resulting in greater benefits to all). We work with other healthcare professionals and I think it would be great to look at all the members of the team we have included. Multi-professional working is definitely the best way to improve (in my opinion) as we all bring something different to the table.

    Best wishes


  5. One big challenges to medication safety is # of people and professions involved in the pathway from drug production/storage --> prescribing --> supply --> administration --> drug reconciliation. Changes in behaviour/process is often required from juniors drs/nurse as well as pharmacists. You will be measuring # QI projects active; trainees confidence. Would it be helpful to count training participants that are representatives of the triad (Pharmacist/ Medic/ Nurse) and which teams that involve the triad?

  6. Hi team,

    great to see this idea. Think it’s a fab idea to join up across the NE. Would you focus on growing QI capability through a shared improvement programme?

    would love to hear more.

    Warm wishes


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