Why it’s great to give back….

In a recent conversation with my daughter, my mother in law shared her own mother’s motto:

‘Give generously of your life; for it will be returned to you three-fold’.

‘Granny Annie’ certainly did live by this maxim: her 90th birthday was attended by over 100 people; friends, family, and many others whose lives she’d touched with her charity work and involvement with the local community. She had given generously of her time and her enthusiasm throughout her life, and that was returned to her several times over with esteem and affection.

Quality Improvement Clinic (QIC) were recently given the opportunity to ‘give generously’ by running a workshop at the 2018 Bristol Patient Safety Conference. Now in it’s fifth year, the conference gives delegates the chance to hear from patient safety and quality improvement experts, learn from practice-based improvement projects and network with colleagues.

QIC’s workshop delivered to over 60 people centred on introducing the Model for Improvement and encouraged participants to start thinking about problems they would like to address using the Model. It was hugely enjoyable to share some ‘lightbulb moments’ with participants, as their feedback comments reflected.

“First time I’d heard of the Model for Improvement & PDSA cycles. Really, really useful! I feel now I can use this to make a positive change within a short space of time rather than a full audit”

“Practising own example was useful, Thank you!”

We also met up with old friends; Dr Rajan Pooni completed the East Midlands BaSIS programme[1] for junior doctors delivered by QIC in 2017. Since then he has built on his BaSIS quality improvement project and gone on to successfully reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescription for sore throats in primary care, using an on-screen pop-up questionnaire that follows best prescribing guidance Correct prescribing according to Centor Criteria moved from 40% to 77% with the intervention. We are always concerned with the sustainability of projects, and here was a great example of an initiative that had become embedded within everyday practice, with substantial success. I was delighted that Dr Pooni’s conference poster, co-authored with colleague Dr James McKinnon, also won an award!

Health improvement champion Don Berwick’s challenge to the whole health and social care sector is to seek to constantly improve the care we deliver. This applies not only to work we do, but also to our attitude to learning and seeking out new experiences wherever they arise. At the Bristol Patient Safety Conference we were able to ‘give back’, and by staying interested and open, we were rewarded several times over with learning, thought provoking conversation, and new opportunities.


[1] This programme no longer runs, but QICLearn now offers similar blended learning packages, that combine face to face and online learning. More information can be found at: https://qiclearn.com