Posted by: ayrshirehealth | April 22, 2015

Looking forward, reflecting back by @Aac946

New beginnings for NHS Scotland

At this time of the year as I look out into my garden I am reminded again of new beginnings. DaffodilsThe long dark days of winter are over and we have entered spring. The daffodils, irises and crocuses are in bloom, the trees are showing their new growth and the days are becoming warmer, well some of them are. Talk has turned to summer holidays and what we are all planning.

@FionaCmcqueenThis reminds me of the new beginnings we are also seeing in the NHS in Scotland. We have a new Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Fiona is well known to us all in Ayrshire and Arran.

@cathcaldwerood1We have a new Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Catherine Calderwood, Sir Harry Burns was always going to be a hard act to follow, and in Catherine we have a worthy successor.

So watch this space we now have two women at the helm.

2014Within a few weeks we will have a general election, in case anyone missed this, no matter what the outcome it is clear politics and times are changing.

Moving forward we have to reflect on the past year. The teams that have won awards, the services commended for their high standards and the individuals who made the service user’s journey smoother and received the thanks from them and their families.

Improvement work

We have so many exciting things in Ayrshire and Arran to celebrate around our improvement work, our new buildings and our planning for the future to ensure we meet the needs of the communities we serve.NHSaaa

At the same time we need to ensure we are an organisation with a memory, we have to learn from previous mistakes. We learn as much from things that did not go well as from the things that did, we need to take this learning and move forward.

The past can never be the place we live; instead we should use it as a reference point as we move forward. It is human nature to want things to remain the same, to stay in our comfort zone however time and tide wait for no-one so we need to embrace our future.

To grasp our future potential we need to move forward from how things have been done to how they could be done. This is not about change for change sake; it is about improving the quality of the care we deliver and ensuring we deliver it safely to every service user every time.

Working differently is the key

Working harder is not the solution, we are all working really hard and we know the needs of our service users grow year on year across all specialties and care settings. Working differently is the key to success in the coming years, using improvement methodology to ensure we get care delivered right the first time every time will in the long run save time and money for the service to reinvest and more importantly improve the safety and quality of care to service users.

I started with the colours in my garden, I cannot wear yellows and purples they do not suit me, however I can admire them. I see their beauty and I use them to enhance the rooms of my house. Change in the NHS can be seen in the same context, it may not suit me however I can see its usefulness and its place in the world.

Tall PoppyI can focus on the weeds or I can raise my eyes and see new beginnings, we have so many exciting things happening in the NHS and in Scotland at the moment.

My message this week would be, raise your eyes, walk with the tall poppies, embrace the challenges we face.

One mother, one baby, one midwife

When asked at the launch of the Maternity and Children’s Quality Improvement Collaborative (SPSP) in March 2013 how we were going to implement so many changes to services by December 2015 my answer was “one mother, one baby, one midwife at a time”. We now have all fourteen Territorial Health Boards with agreed screening tools, sharing information and data with one aim, to improve the safety of Maternity services in Scotland, it is a journey we are all on together. We are the envy of every other Country we talk to regarding our work. At the start of the collaborative some said we would never get everyone to agree. We picked up the challenge.

What is the challenge in your service this year? Who are your innovators and early adopters? will you pick it up?

I will finish with a quote from Barack Obama:

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”

This week’s blob was by @Aac946 (Angela Cunningham), Associate Nurse Director, Women and Children’s Service, NHS Ayrshire & Arran


  1. Great blog Angela – thank you. When I read ‘We now have all fourteen Territorial Health Boards with agreed screening tools, sharing information and data’……..I thought that’s a fantastic achievement in improving the safety of Maternity services in Scotland. Look forward to hearing about the other achievements in MCQIC as you go along!

  2. Great blog Angela.

  3. Eloquently put Angela … Thank you for a really great blog. Achievments and data being shared, just as it should be.

  4. Very inspirational and loving your last quote!

  5. On the topic of new beginnings you also have a new woman at the helm as Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for NHS Scotland in Rosemarie Parr following the retirement of Bill Scott.

  6. Fabulous blog Angela, we like challenges in NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
    We have a good track record to as you say to “Pick up the Challenge”, have run with it and are have some fantastic engagement within the MCQIC programme workstreams and data showing postive improvements.
    Congratulations to everyone for their enthusiasm and willingness to give it a go .

  7. […] Looking forward, reflecting back by Angela Cunningham on the Arshire Health blog […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: