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UCLPartners Improvement Fellows 2017: Interview with Sarah Papworth-Heidel

17 October 2016 | Sarah Papworth-Heidel

This week we talked to Sarah Papworth-Heidel, a 2016 UCLPartners Improvement Fellow, to find out her reflections on the programme.

Hi Sarah, tell us a bit about yourself.

As Head of Quality and Patient Experience I am part of the Governance Directorate at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I), a mental health trust based just a stone’s throw from UCLPartners.  My previous roles have been around falls prevention, an area I have always been interested in since joining the NHS 12 years ago.

And, ooh, I do love a piece of cake.

How did you become interested in quality improvement?

My QI journey began over five years ago when I used Lean methodologies to improve falls prevention in Suffolk. This introduction and subsequent interest in continuous improvement led to my role as Falls Practice Improvement Facilitator at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital (BTUH). There I led the trust-wide falls QI programme which was based upon the Royal College of Physicians’ Falls reduction programme.

I then joined C&I as Matron for Falls Prevention and Training where my QI journey continued. I developed and led a falls management QI project across C&I’s 40 sites.  The programme is called “FallStop” and it has helped improve the safety of our patients. In the last week “FallStop” was highly commended in the Quality Improvement category of the national Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards in October.

Why did you apply for the Improvement Fellows Programme?

I am passionate about the provision of high quality care and excellent patient experience.  And, I felt having a greater understanding and knowledge of QI would help me help patients even further, and of course improve practice and service delivery in the NHS.

It was also a fantastic opportunity to hear from experts in QI, so I could broaden my own knowledge, and help my Trust with its QI programme.

Being part of UCLPartners is also particularly prestigious and has certainly given me greater credibility when I discuss and lead on QI initiatives in my Trust

What are the key things you have learnt from the programme?

I have:

  • Consolidated my QI knowledge;
  • Learnt how to support C&I as it embarks on its QI journey;
  • Learnt how to develop staff to have a greater understanding of QI, and
  • Given colleagues the opportunity to undertake the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School QI programme.

Do you think you will continue to be part of the Fellows network in the future?

Yes.  It is a great experience to explore and learn from others, and to maintain relationships with other QI Fellows.  I really hope that we will be able to continue learning, supporting and sharing QI expertise with each other in the years ahead.

The programme also provides a fantastic opportunity to join the Q initiative and be part of the Q improvement community – sharing ideas, enhancing skills and collaborating to make health and care better.

What advice would you give to people thinking of applying for the 2017 programme?

Very simply, if you have the chance, then do try and get on the programme.  If you are interested in QI, then this programme will definitely help you and broaden your expertise in this really interesting area.