Early warning example
Patient safety example
Early years example
A guest blog on improvement by Jason Leitch, Leading Improvement Team, Scottish Government
I am the Clinical Director of the Quality Unit in the Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Directorate, and my passion is quality improvement. It's a science I was fortunate enough to be introduced to by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Boston and then implement in the NHS Scottish Patient Safety Programme aiming to makes Scotland's hospitals the safest in the world.
I am a dentist by profession, but I now spend most of my time 'selling' improvement methodology and transformation of public services to government officials all over the country. I truly believe that the key to change is people and relationships. All of my talks have stories of real people - patients and service users whose lives are why we all do what we do.
Reshaping our localities to build a better Scotland, with lower levels of crime, safer shared communities and improved access to justice is an ambition that we all share, regardless of our backgrounds or where we live. I am therefore very encouraged and heartened by the programme which has been set up by the Scottish Government’s Building Safer Communities (BSC) team, who recognise the importance of quality improvement and how effective it can be when applied intelligently and relentlessly.
The BSC team have a clear vision and a strategic focus on prevention which demonstrates they are seeking to make improvements from the “bottom up”. That emphasis means they are doing what the Japanese call Gemba – going to where the work is. The inspiring stories which I have heard of and read on this site are a testament to the decisive shift that the BSC programme is making: from a public sector paternalistic “deficit reduction”approach to one which recognises the power of communities and has at its core co-production, building on assets and improvement.
Delivering improvement and transformational change in the public sector is challenging, risky and time consuming. It may even involve failure. However, as Einstein advocated “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. The BSC programme is in the process of generating, testing and evaluating innovative ways of working in a number of communities across the country by energising and engaging people who want to change their lives and their futures.
This is where you'll find the latest news and views from the BSC programme and guest blogs from those involved in making Scotland safer and stronger.