In the first of our new ‘A day in the life of’ series, where we sit down and learn more about the brilliant people behind the scenes at Parkside, we’re joined by Allison Bullivant, our Head of Outpatients and Quality. We learn about Allison’s role, hear about her favourite bits of the job and learn about the attributes needed to succeed in the position. Continue reading to find out more…
Allison, thanks for agreeing to take part in this new series for Parkside’s blog! To start off, can you tell us, what does a typical day in your role look like?
“No problem – it’s an honour to be the first person interviewed for this new ‘a day in the life’ of series! As Head of Outpatients and Quality my job is multifaceted. As part of our daily multidisciplinary team huddles, where we provide departmental updates, I provide updates on outpatient figures for that day. We see over 8,000 patients per month in outpatients at Parkside so there can often be a lot of data to report on!
I also report on Datix statics to the huddle, which refers to any adverse incident which has the potential to produce unexpected or unwanted effects, or any incident which has a consequence or a learning point. These can range from professional issues such as breaches of confidentiality through to clinical issues such as delays in treatment, accidents or unexpected outcomes. Thankfully there aren’t ever too many of these to report – but it’s important that we are on top of anything that ever does go wrong.
I am also responsible for our Quality Governance meetings where we discuss any incidents, our KPI’s, safeguarding, CQC updates and any news from Aspen Healthcare. These meetings are combined with our brilliant colleagues from CCL, just down the road from Parkside. I’m also a Safeguarding lead, which is an important responsibility. There are three of us leads between Parkside and CCL – all safeguarding concerns come through us and we escalate if required.
I am also an ambassador Aspen’s innovative STEP-Up to Safety staff safety engagement and training initiative, which helps our staff to fully understand their own roles in patient safety. The award-winning programme has resulted in a significant improvement in safety measures, including an increase in safety reporting.
Sounds interesting! So what’s your favourite part of the job?
Good question! There are so many brilliant and gratifying elements of the job, but I have to say my favourite part of the job is working with our fantastic team at Parkside. I am very lucky to work with an amazing team of people who deliver the very best in patient care. I have excellent managers who inspire me each and every day and it’s a real pleasure to work with a talented and committed team. Patient safety is my passion so there’s no better place to be than at Parkside!
What’s been your biggest achievement so far?
Without doubt, putting patient safety at the heart of our work every single day is my proudest achievement. And related to this, I’m immensely proud of our excellent patient safety record at Parkside, as well as our STEP-Up to safety programme. STEP-Up has won awards both nationally and internationally for Aspen including the Training Journal Awards (2019), International Customer Experience Awards (2019), and UK Customer Experience Awards (2019, 2018). Step-Up was also a poster winner in the 2019 Patient Safety Congress in the ‘Culture for learning and change’ category – so it’s definitely had a lot of recognition!
I’ll always be proud of the incredible work that’s gone into developing the STEP-Up programme, and the work that’s continuing across Parkside and Aspen Healthcare to promote a positive, open and just culture that places importance on learning from mistakes.
Tell us about any notable recent patient feedback?
It’s hard to pick out any particular examples – all the positive feedback we get is so gratifying to receive, especially after a long day. We all love being acknowledged and thanked, no matter what stage of your career you’re at. I make a real effort to thank all of my team at the end of my shift
and share patient feedback – it really puts a smile on their faces!
Has anything surprised you about the work you do?
There’s a surprise in store almost every day! There’s definitely something new to learn every day so it’s important to go into work and face every situation with that mindset. Working with such a fantastic team makes my job much easier!
What are the most important attributes a person needs in this job?
One thing is to have a very strong eye for detail and a deep desire to get things right, something I really pride myself on! It’s also crucial to enjoy learning new things and being challenged, as there’s a culture of excellence at Parkside and we constantly strive to provide exceptional healthcare. Finally, it’s good to mix well with the team as we work very closely together so it’s good to have strong interpersonal skills. Anyone who knows me is aware of my sense of humour!
Thanks Allison for taking part! What do you enjoy doing outside of work, when you have some spare time?
A little about me: I live in the countryside of West Sussex and love walking my dog Bailey – a Terrier Cross – and learning to fly birds of prey. I’m a real animal person, that’s for sure! I’m also a respite foster carer, which is a type of short-term placement where a child is placed with a foster family.
My Parkside story started way back in 2005, more than 16 years ago now! I joined as Outpatient Sister and have been part of the Parkside family since then.
Allison’s wonderful Terrier Cross named Bailey!