Patients benefit from Vale of Leven Scholarship Fund

A project designed to improve teamwork while working to save deteriorating patients has the potential to be used in hospitals across Scotland thanks to funding from the Vale of Leven Inspiring Care Scholarship.

The project improves the care and safety of deteriorating patients in one of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s (QEUH) busiest departments.

These are patients who are becoming sick due to a blood infection or a drop in blood pressure which restricts oxygen to their vital organs and leads to potential organ failure.

Margaret Connolly, assistant chief nurse for excellence in care, joined forces with Dr Catriona MacNeil, consultant anaesthetist, and Dr Susan Fraser, consultant physician, both based at the QEUH, to develop and deliver the Time Critical Emergency Assessment and Management (TEAaM) programme

Aimed at nursing and medical staff in the busy Acute Receiving unit, the TEAaM programme uses in a simulated ‘live’ situation to develop team work and improve communication skills in the care of deteriorating patients.

Their work was made possible due to funding of almost £6,000 through the Vale of Leven Scholarship Scheme which focuses on enabling nurses to carry out research into improving patient care.

Announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport last year, the £75,000 fund was unveiled to remember patients who died during the C.difficile outbreak at the Vale of Leven hospital between January 2007 and December 2008.

Speaking at the time, Shona Robison said: “Significant improvements have already been made since the Vale of Leven outbreak in 2007, but more can be done to achieve our aim of a world class health service.

“These programmes will equip nurses with skills to bring to the wider workforce, continually improving the safety of the healthcare environment for everyone.”

Patient safety

Margaret Connelly explained: “Developing team working skills which improve the quality and safety of care delivered to deteriorating patients is at the very heart of our project.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from staff who took part and we’ve been approached by a high number of other staff throughout the hospital asking when we’re running the next sessions.

“We’d love to see TEAaM rolled out across all our hospitals and it definitely has the potential to be adopted nationally. We’ll be sharing our experience with our colleagues across the country as we’ll sure it will be invaluable to them.

“We’re confident the project can be held up as a great example of best practice. Specifically, the enhanced communication skills the teams will learn have the potential to significantly reduce the number of emergency calls or incidents occurring.”