Posted by: ayrshirehealth | October 15, 2012

Patient Safety – Harvesting the Fruits of Our Labour by @suzi_hannah

This year’s Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) faculty visit to health boards has an autumnal theme. As phase one of the programme comes to an end and we look forward to the future, the aptly named Autumn Harvest has taken place across the country over the past week.

Faculty teams have visited health boards to ‘harvest’ stories of progress and hear about the learning experienced by clinical teams working in a variety of hospital specialties to improve patient safety.

Support improvement

For anyone not familiar with SPSP it is suffice to say that it has been an impressively delivered national programme that has engaged all health boards in Scotland with the common aim to achieve improved patient experience and outcome.   Workstream change packages to support improvement activity across hospital systems have been taken forward by committed multidisciplinary clinical teams over the past four years and strong leadership to support the improvement journey has been threaded throughout.

Preparing for this year’s visit has been a time for us to take stock, reflect on the improvement journey and appreciate how far we have come.

The most impressive aspect of this work is the contribution of the people who make it happen including programme managers, senior leaders and clinical teams who have adopted improved practices to become  ‘Just how we do things round here’.

Back to basics

Supporting the spread of SPSP improvement work to hospital ward teams, the Clinical Improvement Team developed a programme of skills training and improvement which is delivered in clinical practice, at the point of care.  Using improvement science methodology this practical approach takes learning and improvement to staff caring for patients, with Clinical Improvement Practitioners work closely with ward teams to focus on patient safety issues.

This back to basics approach has been received positively and as a team we have learned a great deal about the value of approaching learning and improvement with individual people and teams in a way that is tailored to their specific needs while remaining focused on the aim to standardise processes across the system, engaging all in the safety programme.

This approach has enabled ward staff working at all levels to take ownership of their improvement work and influence how it is developed, tested, and implemented into practice.  

As phase two of SPSP develops I am confident that, with facilitated improvement expertise to support the learning journey, clinical teams can shape their improvement work and deliver lasting achievements in patient safety.

@suzi_hannah is Clinical Improvement Lead with NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Tomorrow @colin_r_martin considers “to screen or not to screen- that is the question?” in day 5 of 7 of the #ayrshirehealth daily blog.


  1. […] Patient Safety – Harvesting the Fruits of Our Labour by Susan Hannah. […]

  2. […] Patient Safety – Harvesting the Fruits of Our Labour by Susan Hannah […]

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