12 days……….and so much more by the Patient Safety Team

Sing this to the tune of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’. Go on you know you want to!!

Safety 1

On the 1st day of Christmas the safety team said to me A pledge to be harm free.

We are all working towards achieving the aims of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme and you can help us achieve this.


On the 2nd day of Christmas the safety team said to me 2 improvement advisors, 2 improvement trainees and a couple of Project Officers to support and guide you to make patient care even safer.

For more information on Patient Safety and Improvement team contact us on ext 34138/34154.

On the 3rd day of Christmas the safety team said to me 3 leaders on a walk round.

There have been 37 leadership walk rounds this year across NHS Dumfries and Galloway. These provide an opportunity for frontline staff to meet with the senior management team and have a structured conversation. This helps to keep leaders in touch with issues for frontline staff that help deliver safe, effective, person centred care and to promote and share areas of good practice.

Safety 2On the 4th day of Christmas the safety team said to me Get it Right For Every Child with: 4 Early Years work streams.

The early years collaborative aims to make Scotland the best place to grow up. It is the first collaborative of its kind in the world that incorporates health, education and social care. There is a huge amount of work going on across our region to improve the care given to babies, children and families.

Take inspiration from this short video showing how nursery children are becoming involved.    http://vimeo.com/102914044

On the 5th day of Christmas the safety team said to me (lets improve handovers with…) 5 Handover questions.

November saw our 1st handover week in NHS D and G. We are the 1st board to focus our improvement work on handovers. We have recognised handover as a priority and for this reason handover has been added to the 9 point of care priorities for DGRI. We are also leading the way for national improvements. Interested? Them please get in touch and

Ask yourself these 5 questions next time you pass over information and see if you can improve the quality of the handover ….

Safety 3

On the 6th day of Christmas the safety team said to me sock it to sepsis! Sepsis 6 saves lives; so can you!

Safety 4The national sepsis awareness day was promoted in DGRI in September. Craig Stobo (from F.E.A.T) came to talk about his very personal account of sepsis. Both he and his pregnant wife contracted Sepsis, Craig survived but very sadly his wife and child did not. Craig also ‘stole shamelessly’ from NHS D and G the idea of the farthest travelled ‘sock it to sepsis’ socks. Here are some of ours. Any guesses as to where we travelled? A real conversation starter as you can imagine!Safety 5

On the 7th day of Christmas the safety team said to me 7 improvement programmes.

The patient safety and improvement team support all of these programmes

  • We manage the programmes
  • provide local learning events
  • coach and teach people
  • offer support and advice
  • link with national teams
  • provide monthly reports to drive improvement at ward level
  • Provide reports for various management boards.

PHEW! Most importantly we want to remain visible to those providing the care and those working on improvements.

On the 8th day of Christmas the safety team said to me 8 (hundred) ICU days between.

Well we thought we were onto a winner here with ICU having 888 days between a central line blood stream infection. However they are actually even better with 994 days today! Almost at 1000 days!!!!   What a fantastic achievement. Well done to all involved!!!!

Safety 6

On the 9th day of Christmas the safety team said to me 9 point of care priorities (plus one).

Surgical site infections                                            Falls                    

Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections         Pressure Ulcers

Sepsis                                                                      Safer use of medicines

Heart Failure                                                             Venous thrombo embolism

Deteriorating patient                                                 Handover

Improvement teams have been set up to drive improvement in these areas. If you are interested in any of the above or have some great ideas please contact us and we will put you in contact with the clinical lead.

On the 10th day of Christmas the safety team said to me 10 safety essentials in routine practice.

These are the areas of work that have been the focus since the start of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme in 2008. The trainee improvement advisors have been visiting all areas in DGRI to validate the data around these essentials and have been supporting teams to plan for the future.

11th day of Christmas the safety team said to me 11 local learning events.

In 2014 we provided 11 local learning events …WOW!!!!!!  Our team works extremely hard to ensure we inspire, motivate and provide you with the tools to enable you to make improvements for the people you care for.

Feedback has included ‘fantastic event, very well organised’, ‘great to have time out of the ward to focus on improvements’, ‘great day, everyone went away with a game plan and the tools to implement it’.

On the 12th day of Christmas the safety team said to me 12 months of data.

Measuring helps us to understand whether our changes impact on the goal we have set. As an improvement team our goal was to reduce the number of areas in DGRI not reporting data. The results are shown in the run chart below.

We have demonstrated that by increasing the visibility and accessibility of the team we were able to significantly improve. Well done to all areas. 

Safety 7

Safety 8We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your hard work and continued support.




Safety 9Have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

From everyone in the Patient Safety and Improvement Team.

The Christmas Card by Mike McMahon

She wasn’t my Auntie, in case you wondered.

A little before Christmas a patient gave me a red envelope. She smiled as she handed it to me, her manner suggesting she was perhaps a little embarrassed. I can’t pretend to be Sherlock Holmes, but I was pretty sure it contained a Christmas card. I thanked her for it. I don’t remember if I mentioned to her that I presumed it to be a Christmas card, but I set it on the desk and said I would open it later if that was alright with her.

 A clinical consultation followed. Then she left the room leaving the envelope behind.

 That afternoon, in my office, which was quiet enough to bring my tinnitus to notice, I read then deleted several emails, each deletion a small victory swelling my soul, then corrected and verified some letters, a slow process of  removing or inserting apostrophes which sapped my soul back to normal size, all the while glancing occasionally at the envelope.

 I have always recognised that I have a slightly atrophied curiosity, but perhaps it is just slow to awaken, since eventually I found myself reaching for the envelope.

Untitled A Christmas card. Just as I thought. A smiling snowman and a large star. “Merry Christmas”.  “Thank you for all your help” written inside. No “X”, thankfully, since that would be particularly awkward.

 But the card was not alone in the envelope. There was also a five pound note. Not a crisp new one, but a much folded one that had obviously had a story of its own.


 Perhaps you should know that she was not a wealthy woman by any stretch of the imagination.

 What should I do with the five pound note?

  1. Give it back?
  2. Write to ask what she would like me to do with it?
  3. Write a letter of thanks?
  4. Write a letter of thanks but hint that it was too much?
  5. Write a letter of thanks and enclose the trust guidance on gratuities?
  6. Donate it to charity?
  7. Put it towards biscuits/chocolates for the clinic staff?
  8. Place it in the endowment fund?
  9. Have it framed and hung on my wall?
  10. Disclose it, and my response, at my next appraisal?

Mike McMahon is a Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist for NHS Dumfries and Galloway