Value Your NHS drop-in sessions

A series of drop-in discussion sessions have been organised for staff across Tayside.

A dedicated staff engagement session is being held for Production Unit staff on Wednesday, 7 February at 3pm in the Domestic Training Room, Out to Lunch, Ninewells Hospital.

Dedicated sessions on pharmacy and prescribing are also being held on:

Friday, 9 February from 10-11am in the Gillingham Study Room, Perth Royal Infirmary

Tuesday, 13 February from 2-3pm in Room D, Learning and Training Centre, Stracathro Hospital

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Library books provide help for chronic pain sufferers

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Rhona Guild (left) handed over books to Lesley Marr of Angus Alive

A series of resources to help people living with chronic pain is available in libraries across Tayside thanks to support from Tayside Health Fund.

Chronic pain is one of the most common long term conditions affecting the population. Tayside Health Fund provided funding for educational and support materials to be made available in libraries, including mobile libraries.

Chronic pain is defined as a pain that has lasted longer than three months after the usual recovery period for an illness or injury. Chronic pain can be felt in a specific part of the body or throughout the body. The pain may be continuous or occasional and may feel worse some days than others.

Rhona Guild, Long Term Conditions Lead in Angus, said, “This funding from Tayside Health Fund has allowed us to purchase more resources following the success of chronic pain resources which were donated to libraries in 2015.

“We are delighted to be able to further extend the range of chronic pain books available in libraries across Tayside. These resources, recommended by local specialists in chronic pain management, aim to provide people with reliable and practical information to help them live well with chronic pain.

“We chose to extend the range after feedback from libraries that, although the first set of books were being well used, the range was relatively small which limited choice for people.

“Living with chronic pain impacts on people in different ways and for some it can impact greatly on relationships, activities and mood. For that reason, medical treatment, including medication, is only part of the support available to people to manage their pain well. These books will support people with self-management techniques and information on how to live healthily.

“We hope that the books will be of particular help to those without internet access. For those who prefer online resources, we would recommend Pain Association Scotland and Pain Concern

‘Just Checking’ trial in Dundee

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Dundee Health & Social Care Partnership is trialling a new way of using the Just Checking system to help assess care packages for people discharged from hospital.

Just Checking is an online activity monitoring system that helps people stay independent in their own home.

A set of sensors monitor activity and movement, and clinicians can tell whether the patient is following normal patterns of behaviour such as eating, washing, watching TV, moving around and sleeping well. Currently 10 sets of sensors are being put to use.

The system has been integrated with the Health & Social Care Partnership’s Mosaic programme, which means discharge teams are reminded to consider using Just Checking, and can see reports about patients from their desktop.

New model for Mental Health and Learning Disability Services approved

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A new model of care for Mental Health and Learning Disability inpatient services in Tayside has been approved by Perth & Kinross Integration Joint Board.

The new service model will see General Adult Psychiatry (GAP) acute admissions provided from four wards at Carseview Centre in Dundee and Learning Disability (LD) inpatient services from four wards at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth.

The Mental Health and Learning Disability Services Redesign Transformation Programme was set up to develop options for a long-term sustainable model of care for GAP and LD inpatient services.  This followed advice from clinicians and professional leads that the existing three-site model for GAP acute admission inpatient services was not sustainable and could pose a significant clinical risk to patients and staff.

A three-month consultation was held between July and October last year asking for views on the proposed model.  Clinicians considered this model to be the only option which is able to provide safe, sustainable and high quality mental health services for the people of Tayside into the future.

All feedback received during the consultation was included in a report which was presented to the Integration Joint Board (IJB) of Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership, which manages Mental Health and Learning Disability inpatient services across Tayside.  The report also included comments and feedback from Angus and Dundee IJBs and Tayside NHS Board, which considered the proposals at their meetings in December and January.

A number of themes were raised during the consultation including issues such as transport and access to services.  NHS Tayside and the three health and social care partnerships are committed to continuing conversations with staff, service users, carers, partner organisations and local communities to address the issues they have raised and look at ways of minimising the impact of the proposed changes.

Chief Officer for Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Robert Packham said, “The IJB has made an historic decision in approving the proposals for Mental Health and Learning Disability inpatient services in Tayside.

“Healthcare is changing rapidly, with a greater focus on recovery and improved mental wellbeing in communities.  Specialist hospital services will always be needed for those who are most unwell and, when people are in hospital, they should receive the highest possible quality of care in buildings which are fit for the delivery of modern healthcare.

“As we move to implement the new model of care, I would seek to reassure members of the public that the changes will be introduced with care and with the involvement of the people who use our services and the organisations that support them.”

Interim Clinical Director for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Dr Stuart Doig said, “Change can be difficult but sometimes it is necessary to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.  With this decision we now have the opportunity to provide high quality inpatient treatment in modern facilities to all patients.  It is recognised that this will require work with local people in further developing community services to make this a success.”

Chair of Perth & Kinross IJB Linda Dunion added, “Today’s decision has been taken after a great deal of careful consideration.  We have taken into account clinical opinion as to how we can ensure that our inpatient mental health and learning disability services are high quality, safe and sustainable into the future.  We have listened to the concerns, comments and suggestions of the many people who shared their views with us in person, online and in writing.  Where there are issues of concern, such as transport and access to services, we will work with local communities to address these.

“It is now up to all three health and social care partnerships, together with NHS Tayside, to work with staff, service users, carers, partner organisations and local communities to minimise any negative impact and crucially, to maximise the benefits of a model of care that is fit for the 21st century.”

Academic Excellence award for mental health nurse

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Val Johnson and Leanne Williamson at Carseview Centre in Dundee

A Tayside mental health nurse has been recognised for academic excellence by the University of Dundee.

Leanne Williamson, who works in the Crisis Response Intensive Home Treatment Team in Dundee, has been working towards an MSc in Advanced Practice (Mental Health).

At the annual University of Dundee School of Nursing and Health Sciences prize giving ceremony in November, Leanne received the Academic Excellence in Dissertation Award for her study ‘Intensive home treatment for the resolution of mental health crises: a systematic review’.  Leanne is now working with one of her supervisors with a view to publishing her work.

Leanne received her award from the Dean of the School Professor Lyn Kilbride at the ceremony in the University’s Dalhousie Building.

Leanne said “Thanks to a scholarship from NHS Tayside I have been able to work towards my academic and professional goals and further develop my professional skills.

“This is a cherished accolade and going forward I hope to build on the opportunities afforded to me by NHS Tayside and the University of Dundee.”

Head of Adult Mental Health & Learning Disability Inpatients Val Johnson added, “Leanne is to be congratulated for her success in receiving this award and her efforts and commitment to her studies really deserve this recognition.”

Last chance to nominate your NHS Tayside STAR

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There’s still time to nominate your NHS Tayside STAR! We’ve already beat last year’s total with over 430 nominations so far, but there’s still a few days to go until nominations close so if you haven’t managed to nominate your STAR yet, please visit

You can nominate your NHS Tayside STARs in six categories and we’d love to see more nominations in the three categories that are only open to nominations from NHS Tayside staff – Innovation in Practice, Quality/Service Improvement and Inspiring Educator.

Anyone who has difficulty accessing the website or who needs assistance to complete the nomination form can call the nomination phone line on 01382 632087 or 01382 740063. The phone line is open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.  Nominations close on Monday, 5 February at 5pm.

Chairman Professor John Connell said, “Our staff are committed to delivering high-quality healthcare to the people of Tayside and the STAR Awards are a great opportunity for members of the public and colleagues to show their appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

“Last year’s inaugural awards were a fantastic success with the number of nominations far exceeding our expectations.  There were lots of very worthy winners and runners up and I’m sure that this year will be no different.

“We know that often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference to patients, their families and colleagues, so if someone has gone that extra mile for you, why not say thank you by nominating them for a STAR Award?

“No matter what their job is, any member of staff can be nominated, including medical and nursing staff, therapists, community staff, support staff and those who work in the more ‘hidden’ departments who may not deal with patients on a day-to-day basis.”

The award categories are:

  • Outstanding Individual (clinical) e.g. a doctor, nurse, healthcare assistant, consultant, surgeon, physiotherapist, occupational therapist etc

Someone who goes the extra mile for their patient or colleagues/NHS Tayside

  • Outstanding Individual (non-clinical) e.g. domestic assistant, porter, receptionist, catering staff etc

Someone who goes the extra mile within their job role helping colleagues/NHS Tayside or patients and visitors

  • Outstanding Team e.g. a service, ward team or a team that works in the community etc

A team who works together going the extra mile for patients or colleagues/NHS Tayside

  • Innovation in Practice

An individual or team who, through their research or innovation and commitment to do things in a new way, has positively changed the way services or support is provided or improved patient experience

  • Quality/Service Improvement

An individual or team who has demonstrated a commitment to continuously improving services and adding value

  • Inspiring Educator

An individual who mentors, supervises or trains people on the job. Someone who not only shares good practice and new skills, but is a role model for their values and attitudes. This will be an educator who has gone the extra mile to support, help and inspire learners in their work.

All finalists will be invited to the STAR Awards ceremony at the Apex Hotel in April, where the winners will be announced.


NHS Scotland Charity Golf Classic Qualifier

The Scottish qualifying event for the NHS 4 Nations golf tournament will take place at the Championship East Course at Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club in Kirknewton, Edinburgh on Tuesday, 15 May.

The top 10 scores overall will qualify to represent the Scottish team at the NHS 4 Nations Finals being hosted in Ireland in August.

Click here for more information

Sharps Safety – Your Safety – Everyone’s Safety

This week Sharps Safety focuses on incidents and injuries which require to reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) through their Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurence Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) arrangements.

NHS Tayside has a legal requirement to report certain types of incidents to the HSE. In the context of the sharps injuries the following could be recorded for reporting:

  • an employee injured by a sharp known to be contaminated with a blood-borne virus (BBV) e.g. hepatitis B or C or HIV. This is reportable as a Dangerous Occurence
  • an employee receives a sharps injury and a BBV acquired by this route seroconverts. This is reportable as an Occupational Disease **
  • an injury so severe that it must be reported e.g. sharp injury into eye where an impact on sight is likely

In addition to the requirement to RIDDOR report an incident recognised as a Dangerous Occurrence or Occupational Disease it is also important to recognise that the following must trigger a RIDDOR report:

  • an absence of a period of seven or more days
  • inability to carry out normal duties for a period of seven or more days e.g. alteration to duties/taken off clinical work

**Please note that in cases where a period of around 24 weeks needs to be allowed in relation to taking blood samples the incident will be held on DATIX as ‘Not Yet Known’ with regard to RIDDOR to allow correct reporting should a disease develop. If after 24 weeks the bloods indicate no infection then the DATIX can be closed off as not RIDDOR reportable.

Non reportable sharps injuries would be those involving untraceable sharps or clean sharps.

RIDDOR reports must be managed efficiently and effectively to ensure that NHS Tayside’s calculations, in relation to loss events, are based on accurate numbers of RIDDOR reports. An increase in loss events (DATIX RIDDOR incidents) will directly correlate to an increase in insurance instalments and therefore an unnecessary cost to NHS Tayside. The more RIDDORs wrongly reported in the DATIX system the higher the premiums.

Therefore those incidents which have been reported and recorded on the DATIX system as RIDDOR reportable will be reviewed by the Health & Safety Team. Staff may be asked to update their DATIX forms through an email request from

Please ensure that this is actioned as soon as possible.

Community Innovation Fund information sessions in Angus

A series of information and advice sessions is being held across Angus for interested applicants to learn more about NHS Tayside’s Community Innovation Fund (CIF).

The CIF aims to help community groups to develop local improvement projects that will benefit the health and wellbeing of their local population. The Fund is financed through the Tayside Health Fund, the charity for NHS Tayside.

Sessions will run from noon until 2pm at the following venues:

  • Monday, 29 January, Links Park Community Trust, Wellington St, Montrose, DD10 8QD
  • Wednesday, 31 January, Forfar Open Garden Space, 36 Lochside Rd, DD8 3JD
  • Wednesday, 7 February, Hospitalfield House, Westway, Arbroath, DD11 2NH

Community capacity building officer Richard McIntosh, who is first point of contact for enquiries about the CIF, said, “We are holding these drop in sessions so that anyone with an idea that would help their local community can come along and have a chat with us and find out more about how we can help – often people just need a little support and funding to get started.

“The CIF can really go to the heart of a community to make a difference, supporting local people to make decisions about the changes they want to see to help them improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of their own communities.

“We hope to support new, innovative projects which will work in partnership with communities in disadvantaged areas, promoting quality of life, overall health and wellbeing and creating a stronger sense of community and social relationships.”

Community groups can apply for any amount between £500 and £25,000 over a three-year period to establish new and innovative projects.

Anyone interested in applying or finding out more information should come along to the information sessions or visit the website