NHS Lanarkshire netted an impressive hat trick recently when three of its staff were selected for a Fellowship course designed to improve patient safety.
The Fellowship course is part of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) which is a national initiative set up to improve standards in health care and was embraced by NHS Lanarkshire a year ago.
It aims to do this by standardising approaches to some aspects of care as there is good research to show which interventions make a difference when it comes to protecting patient safety.
UK and international evidence indicates that one in 10 patients experiences an adverse event while in hospital, which is defined as an unintended consequence of care, and may include contracting an infection such as MRSA.
Research shows that 50 per cent of adverse events can be avoided if rigorous patient safety processes are routinely followed.
Dr Gregor Smith, NHS Lanarkshire medical director for primary care and a Larkhall GP; Alexa Wall, head of Monklands pharmacy; and Dr Sanjiv Chohan, a Monklands consultant anaesthetist, all won places on the SPSP Fellowship course.
The trio’s inclusion meant NHS Lanarkshire had the most places of any Scottish health board.
Dr Gregor Smith said: "I’m delighted that Lanarkshire will be at the forefront of this.
"To have access to the level of training and education that the Fellowship provides is a tremendous opportunity that should further strengthen the quality of care that we provide."
Alexa Wall underlined the educational benefits, saying: "Access to the educational and networking opportunities afforded by the Fellowships is a fantastic opportunity to support the development and delivery of SPSP in NHS Lanarkshire.
"The building of a long term patient safety culture in NHS Scotland will also be invaluable for Lanarkshire’s patients."
Dr Sanjiv Chohan said the successful applicants’ work would give NHS Lanarkshire a chance to build on the SPSP success it has already had.
He said: "Having three fellows in Lanarkshire puts us in a unique situation, and opens up even greater possibilities in the future."
This was echoed by NHS Lanarkshire’s SPSP manager Diane Campbell.
She said: "It’s a fantastic achievement to get three NHS Lanarkshire employees on this programme, which is a quarter of the fellowship places across NHS Scotland.
"This is not only a great opportunity for the three individuals involved, it will also have massive positive benefits for NHS Lanarkshire as a whole and ultimately the patients in our care."
For more on the Scottish Patient Safety Programme visit: http://www.patientsafetyalliance.scot.nhs.uk/programme
Alexa Wall Dr Gregor Smith Dr Sanjiv Chohan