Why get involved in Quality Improvement?

Fiona Jones, Welsh Pharmacy Board Picture by Nick Treharne

Author: Fiona Jones, Welsh Pharmacy Board
Picture by Nick Treharne

Why get involved in Quality Improvement? I’m sure everyone asks these question.
Do I have time?
How much work is involved?
Will it make a difference?

Like you, I too thought I didn’t have any time, or maybe the skills to start making a difference, I may have felt that it’s easier to keep doing what I’ve always done. However back in 2012 I undertook the RPS Leadership course and from then on I haven’t looked back.

I started looking at how we could integrate pharmacy into the wider teams locally and started having meetings with the local district nurses and social workers. They were very keen to have some pharmacy input and so our domiciliary medicines support service started to grow.

Our first step was to find a suitable e-mail address that everyone could access. Subsequently we promoted this via posters and meetings to raise awareness. Within 12 months we had referrals from occupational therapists, social workers, carers, district nurses and the local memory clinics.

Data was collected on who was making the referral and the interventions/contributions that my team were making to support patients at home. Over the last 4 years we continued to expand the service into other areas across Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board central in North Wales.

This all looked good, so I decided to enter the service for the NHS Wales awards. Surprisingly we reached the final and attended the ceremony in the autumn of last year.
We were one of only two Primary Care finalists and one of only two pharmacy teams out of 167 applicants.

So my challenge to all pharmacists out there is to get involved and showcase all the great work you do. Take the next step and go for the National awards – you never know what will happen.

This year 1000 Lives, the national improvement service for NHS Wales, have been challenged by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport Vaughan Gething AM, to continue to support all finalists with the vision of extending these exciting services nationally.

So get your application ready for the launch on 8th February and GOOD LUCK!

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