VON 2017 Testimonials

Updated: Nov 7, 2018

Report from the Vermont Oxford Quality Improvement Congress Chicago, October 2017



The 2017 Vermont Oxford Quality Improvement Congress was a 5 day event with congress being surrounded by pre and post conference workshops and a day of NICQ and iNICQ meetings and a Newborn Antibiotic Stewardship National Summit. The format of the main congress changed from previous years, with the organising committee introducing a new way of learning. This year they focused learning on 4 tracks so that individual participant’ unique learning needs could be addressed.

The four tracks were:

  • clinical improvement

  • leadership

  • education

  • data


Through the generosity of Simpsons Special Care Babies, one consultant and four staff nurses from the Neonatal Unit were able to participate in this congress.


Here are some quotes from their reflections on their experiences:


“I found it very interesting to learn about neonatal units from around the world and the many different patient safety and quality improvement areas that they focus on.” Staff Nurse


“I have been made aware of so many issues in neonatal care. I have also been given a slight insight into the future of neonatology. This truly has been an inspirational experience which has left me looking forward to the future of neonates. I cannot thank SSCB enough for extending the opportunity to me.” Staff Nurse


“I would very much like to thank Simpsons Special Care Babies for funding my trip to Chicago, to be part of an International Conference, whose goal is to make a difference in the life of every infant born across the world. After 26 years in the Neonatal Unit, Edinburgh, I still love my job; in large part due to the ever evolving, research-based practice, and quality improvements implemented, which ultimately improves outcomes for our babies and families we care for. Being part of the conference, having opportunities of learning and sharing/networking with each other, attending lectures, breakout sessions and poster presentations was great.” Staff Nurse


"Thank you once again for this amazing opportunity to experience, first hand, all the amazing

research and practices being adopted throughout the neonatal units worldwide. Learning how important collaboration and information sharing is vital to improving outcomes for our babies." Staff Nurse


“Consequently, we as a team who attended the conference are determined to communicate with staff the knowledge we have learned. We plan formal and informal teaching sessions with all the brilliant poster presentations handouts, to be available for all staff to read, and to have accessible the VON seminar lectures for all staff to watch.” Staff Nurse


“I believe education is the key to encourage staff to engage with initiatives, to understand how outcomes can be greatly improved through quality improvement and I feel invigorated to help the unit with this.” Staff Nurse


“This was a fantastic experience and opportunity for myself, as a senior staff nurse, and other members of my team within Simpsons to attend. The conference was fantastic from beginning to end and offered a vast learning experience that excelled in delivering a whole range of topics suitable to our area of work. Being able to attend with my colleagues encouraged great team bonding and good moral. The conference provided a very well organised schedule that allowed us as individuals to attend breakout sessions in areas of personal interest and also attend the talks provided throughout the day as a team.” Staff Nurse


“There were so many knowledgeable people attending sharing their experiences and practice from parents to neonatal professors, providing us with new ideas and inspiration to come back and share with colleagues.” Staff Nurse


“On the Saturday night we even managed to squeeze in a little bit of partying; after a full packed day of learning, we let our hair down and mixed with other people attending, which was a great way to learn about other neonatal units around the world.” Staff Nurse


“Without the great support from SSCB, this opportunity would not have been possible, I am very grateful that I was able to have this experience and hope that other colleagues will be able to have their chance to experience it too.” Staff Nurse


“Attending the Vermont Oxford Conference in October 2017 has been the single most inspiring conference I have attended in my career so far. The appetite amongst the audience for Quality Improvement work was tangible. The speakers were world-leading and challenged my thoughts about common neonatal practice e.g. antenatal steroids!


It was also wonderful to spend time with 4 lovely nurses, see them become inspired and chat together about how to bring our new enthusiasm back to the Simpson. Certainly, the EPIC Families QI group is thriving and continues to be supported by SSCB. The Communication group’s remit is vast, and it has been more difficult with this group to be so focused. I am so thankful to have been able to be enriched by the whole experience….I would love to go again! Thank you so much to Simpson’s Special Care Babies.” Staff Consultant


“Thank you, Simpsons Special Care Babies: without your support we would not be able to participate in this major neonatal event. I’m convinced that the process of being at and contributing to this Congress has inspired work on the unit and resulted in better outcomes for babies and their families.”


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