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Dr Ruth O'Dowd Consultant Anaesthetist, Associate Medical Director Quality Improvement

Organisation: North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

  • GenerationQ
  • 9
Ruth O'Dowd

About me

Ruth is a Generation Q Fellow, and Clinical Director Patient Safety and Consultant Anaesthetist at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

She has been at North Cumbria since 2006 and, alongside her clinical role, was Clinical Director Anaesthetics prior to her current patient safety role.

In her patient safety capacity, she covers the integrated acute surgical specialties care group, chairing and facilitating safety and quality meetings. With the team she reviews clinical incidents at all levels, looking for trends and supporting investigations and improvements to reduce the risk of recurrent incidents.

Ruth initiated and organises regular multidisciplinary, multi-professional ‘away days’ for all care group staff to improve sharing of learning, including patients presenting their own reflections. This initiative has been highlighted as good practice by the Care Quality Commission.

Ruth believes the advent of an integrated health care system in North Cumbria provides an opportunity to tackle important safety issues by working across divisions and organisations. She is leading on the development of a system-wide 'patient safety faculty’ that will coordinate and facilitate work streams to tackle key cross-cutting issues, and thereby improve the safety culture of health care in North Cumbria.

Participation in GenerationQ will help her lead this large, complex improvement project. 'I am inspired to learn from "relational leadership", and will value the education and peer support in implementation of this initiative.

'I know that, to be successful, development, engagement and coaching of others to take projects forward will be key. GenerationQ will help me further develop and share these skills.'

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