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Health / Health board celebrates ‘innovative’ staff

A CELEBRATION of some of the best improvement work undertaken by NHS Shetland teams during the past year was held virtually last week.

Staff presented eleven projects to their colleagues and the board for the annual Celebrating Excellence in Care Awards.

The event, organised by director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan, shone a spotlight on different parts of the local health care service.

The main focus was on how the health sector has been navigating the challenges as a consequence of the pandemic and remobilising services.

Carolan said the quality of the improvement work had been of such a high standard that it had been a “very difficult decision” for the panel to decide the winners.

“A common theme in many of the presentations was that teams in Shetland were leading the way in Scotland with lots of examples where we are developing new ways of working that other health boards could learn from,” she said.

“This shows the boldness and bravery of our teams to break new ground and be innovative”.

The judges included the Scottish Government’s deputy chief nursing officer Anne Armstrong, NHS Shetland board members Kathy Hubbard and Colin Campbell and lay integration joint board representative Joanne Adamson.

The five categories included:

Practice education: this was aimed at projects where the focus was on training, awareness raising or role development. Trainee assistant practitioner Katherine Umphray won this award for her work in developing new ways of working as an assistant practitioner in the out patient department. She described how she is developing skills to support new services in Shetland and how she supports other members of the team, including student nurses.

Innovation in practice: this was for any project that had brought a new approach into practice. This award went to Dawn Smith, deputy director of acute care, ophthalmology specialist nurse Gai Walls, Andrea Sherwood, pre-operative assessment nurse and Joanna Orlowski, CDU supervisor, on behalf of the wider team supporting the Vanguard mobile operating theatre project.

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They received the innovation award for the work they did to design and deliver an enhanced programme of elective care, resulting in over 400 patients receiving life changing orthopaedic and cataract procedures in 2022

Person centred care: for any project that had specifically enhanced the focus on the individual and the quality of their care.
Michelle Hankin, clinical governance and risk lead, received the person centred care award for the quality improvement project she led to introduce a radio frequency treatment pathway for patients with chronic pain in Shetland.

Prevention: this was for projects where the focus was on self-management, health improvement or realistic medicine.
This category was won by team leader Rhona McArthur and Karen Tekin, specialist nurse with the Substance Misuse and Recovery Service. They received this award in recognition of the work that the team has undertaken to introduce new form of opioid substitution therapy (OST) that offers people who are dependent on opioids, such as heroin, an alternative, prescribed medicine.

The fifth category recognised the impact of partnership working and included any aspect of service improvement.

This award was won by Margarita Nesbit, consultant sonographer, for the work that she has led with healthcare professionals based in Shetland and Aberdeen to offer specialist diagnostic tests not previously available locally.

This includes ultrasound guided biopsies and others scans for rheumatology, musculoskeletal and head and neck conditions.

Chair of the judging panel Anne Armstrong said that those presenting and the teams that they represent “demonstrated a very high calibre of improvement work which deserves to be shared nationally to spread new ways of working and good practice”.

“The panel wanted to convey to everybody that what was presented was outstanding,” she added.

“What really shone through was the focus on putting the patient and their families at the centre of care and how that had such a positive impact on the quality of the patients experience and the quality of their care.”

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