Dr Lesley Anne Smith Director

Organisation: Calidad Associates

  • Quality Improvement Fellowship
  • 7

About me

Lesley Anne is a Quality Improvement Fellow and Head of Clinical Governance and Risk Management at NHS Highland.

NHS Highland comprises the largest and most sparsely populated part of the UK, representing more than 41% of the land mass of Scotland. Leslie Anne has worked in the clinical governance field for more than 10 years, and during this time has promoted a strong culture of quality improvement and patient safety, supported by a highly committed team.

Lesley Anne gained her MB ChB from Aberdeen University in 1983 and worked as a junior doctor for several years before training as a chartered accountant. She returned to the NHS in 1992 and held two senior finance posts before moving into her clinical governance role. She is responsible for developing and implementing systems to support clinical governance throughout NHS Highland. She particularly enjoys working directly with clinical staff to implement changes which improve patient care.

As part of her Quality Improvement Fellowship, Lesley Anne worked on her own specialist interest – exploring ways in which organisations can improve quality while at the same time saving money.

Lesley Anne said, ‘In the current economic climate it is becoming increasingly clear that quality and costs are inextricably linked – summed up by ‘efficiency without quality is unthinkable; quality without efficiency is unsustainable’.

She hoped that the fellowship will allow her to learn what sets high-quality, low-cost organisations apart so that she can begin to make a difference in this area on her return to the UK. She was interested in:

  • exploring ways of costing the whole of the patient journey through primary and secondary care and therefore understanding the full impact of improving quality or reducing harm
  • considering how best to shift the focus to longer term planning for delivery of quality care rather than short-term cost reduction measures
  • developing financial incentives which could be relevant to the NHS Scotland funding system.

Lesley Anne is closely involved in the implementation of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme in NHS Highland and chairs the Medicines Safety Subgroup of the Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee, both of which have had a direct impact on improving patient safety and reducing harm. In addition, she was a member of the national Healthcare Governance Standards Steering Group established by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland to develop clinical governance and risk management standards, and also a member of the national working group established to produce the report Managing the Risks of Healthcare Associated Infection for NHS Scotland.

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