A senior midwife from Ayreshire based Crosshouse Hospital in Scotland says a visit to both Ko Awatea and APAC Forum inspired her to work harder at involving women and families in service development.
Laura Muir has a patient safety role as the midwifery champion for the region, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, to support the implementation of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) at a local level.
Ms Muir, who was the first midwife in Scotland to undertake the SPSP Fellowship Programme, was awarded a field trip to a centre of innovation and learning in relation to patient safety and chose to visit Ko Awatea and their APAC Forum after hearing Ko Awatea’s director of innovation, Dr Lynne Maher speak at the Quality Improvement Forum in London earlier this year.
Ms Muir says she particularly enjoyed the APAC Forum sessions on co-design and listening to the patient’s voice. “In order to make improvements we must listen to the experience of the users of the service, and design services that respond to their needs.” She found APAC Forum welcoming and identified a need to learn more about local structures outside the hospital environment to support patients. “I learned of initiatives where that question was being asked really meaningfully and real change effected. Staff may say we don’t have time to ask, but Dr Maher emphasised we don’t have time not to ask because by doing so, we can facilitate care more effectively and get people home faster.”
Prior to attending the APAC forum, Ms Muir visited Ko Awatea, which she describes as an inspiring “hub of activity”. Included in this visit was a leadership walk around of Middlemore Hospital’s Ward 33N with Ko Awatea’s patient advocate, Renee Greaves and a representative from Counties Manukau Health’s human resources team, among other staff. Ms Muir explains that in similar walks at Crosshouse Hospital, there is no patient or human resources representative.
Given the opportunity to make immediate changes at her hospital, Ms Muir says she would like to create more learning time to increase the knowledge of improvement methodology for frontline staff. “Sharing information on quality improvement between health organisations is the way forward”, she says.
“It is exciting to be involved in an initiative that is shared throughout the world. There are similar challenges despite our different countries but there are many shared successes.”