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VON 2016 Staff Testimonials

Report from the Vermont Oxford Quality Improvement Congress Chicago, September 2016

September 9th was the beginning to 2016 Vermont Oxford Congress and with the generosity of Simpsons Special Care Charity, 7 members of staff from the NNU were able to participate in this incredible, neonatal specific event.

Here is a small selection of comments from staff attending the Congress:

Nursing Staff

I would like to thank SSCB for supporting me to attend the Congress this year. It was a unique opportunity and I feel privileged to have been able to be part of this international event.

I would like to say an enormous thank you to you and to Simpsons Special Care Babies for allowing me to attend the Vermont Oxford Annual Congress. It was such a wonderful opportunity to learn about the amazing quality improvements being carried out in neonatal units throughout the world, but also a chance to share the excellent work we are doing in our own neonatal unit.

The three elements of the Congress, the formal presentations, breakout sessions and poster presentations provided a broad view of the work of the Network and covered topics that were relevant for everyone who was attending. These all linked in very well in to the quality improvement work in the Neonatal Unit in Edinburgh.

From a global perspective, I particularly enjoyed the presentation ‘Improving Neonatal Care Around the World: What Can We Learn From Each Other?’ It also made me appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to provide the care that we do and just how unique the National Health Service is when compared with other health care provision around the world.

It was fascinating to hear lectures about the neonatal units in different countries. In particular, Dr Waheed from Pakistan talking about his admission numbers and how many babies they have to each space (at least 10 babies to a cot!) made me realise how very lucky we are to have the resources and staff numbers we do in our NNU.

The poster presentations were overwhelming. It was evident that there is so much good work going on and by working together through VON quality of care is improving on a global scale through collaboration and sharing of good practice.

The poster presentation was a challenge! I was out of my comfort zone having to speak to others about our research that we had been doing. However, after the first couple of questions were out of the way it was a little easier and I felt more relaxed about it. It was good to look at the presentations from other units and see that some of the challenges we face with staff involvement and communication are evident in other units too.

The sharing of ideas, projects and quality improvements was for me one of the best part of the conference. During the poster viewing we had the opportunity to network with many of the other delegates. It was so interesting to hear how other neonatal units work and despite our geographical differences.

Attending the conference with colleagues from Scotland was an added bonus. It was so lovely to get to know each one a little better, have the chance to reflect together on subjects that were presented during the day and also to relax and enjoy each other’s company. It felt such a treat to be part of the team selected to go to Chicago.

I don’t think I can actually find the right words to explain how privileged and valued I feel being funded to attend these two days in Chicago. My only way of saying thank you properly is by sharing the ideas and information I have learned to improve the quality of care we provide for all babies and families in our neonatal unit.

I really feel very lucky to have been selected to attend this year’s conference, thank you so much again. The conference has given me the opportunity to focus on realistic goals/objectives we can bring to our NNU. Hopefully the enthusiasm which the returning team brings can help everyone stay motivated to carry on providing excellent evidence-based care.

I will certainly be encouraging staff to apply for attendance at the Congress in the future as it was even better than I had anticipated. I feel that as many staff as possible should be aware of the work of this international neonatal community and experience this first hand.

What a fantastic experience that SSCB is offering to medical and nursing staff not only to promote the fantastic work we are doing in our unit, but also to learn from international colleagues about progress that they are making.



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