Lessons shared and lessons learned

NHS Grampian, the Soapbox Collaborative and Immpact, University of Aberdeen recently welcomed two health professionals from The Gambia and Nigeria who arrived in Aberdeen to take part in a quality improvement programme that is part of the Commonwealth Professional Fellowship Scheme.

Dr Jibril Abdullahi Randawa, an Honorary Consultant/Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria and Mr Kebba Manneh, Chief Executive of the Jammeh Foundation Hospital, took time out of their busy schedule to participate in a four week programme which involved a series of workshops, coaching sessions and clinical visits to Peterhead Community Maternity Unit, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Aberdeen Health Village to learn more about the practical implementation of quality improvement for maternity care in Scotland and to share lessons and experiences.  

The purpose of the Fellowship scheme is to support and strengthen leadership, management and technical oversight of mid-career professionals from developing commonwealth countries. Dr Randawa and Mr Manneh concluded their visit by speaking at a seminar organised by the three hosts; NHS Grampian, the Soapbox Collaborative and Immpact, University of Aberdeen.  They were joined by Professor Will Stones from the University of St Andrews and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.  Also joining the discussion were Dr Roelf Dijkhausen, NHS Grampian Medical Director and Dr Debbi Marais, Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Aberdeen. Professor Wendy Graham of Immpact and the Soapbox Collaborative chaired the seminar.  The seminar prompted some interesting discussion giving fascinating insights into the many challenges faced by health care providers in maternity units in Nigeria and The Gambia.  Reflecting back on their four-week fellowship programme, the visitors spoke of their aspirations for quality improvement in their own institutions and about their determination to implement their plans for quality improvement.  They were impressed with the emphasis placed on patient centred care in NHS Grampian and said a clean labour ward not only leads to patient satisfaction but also helps to prevent infections.  They were also impressed at how well infection prevention procedures such as hand washing are strictly adhered to in NHS Grampian.

This was the first of two visits by Commonwealth fellows to Aberdeen.   A group of four midwife educators from Malawi will visit Aberdeen for the second Commonwealth Professional Fellows Programme in May to learn more about the training of midwives and the delivery of maternity care in Scotland, as well as clinical mentoring and research.

Their trip has been organised by researchers in the Division of Applied Health Sciences (DAHS) at the University of Aberdeen and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon with the participation of maternity care staff from NHS Grampian, NHS Tayside and NHS Highland.