Aunt and nephew share living donation story for world kidney day

Kidney transplant patient Paul Gardiner

An Angus man, who has a future thanks to a kidney transplant from his aunt, is raising awareness of living donation as part of World Kidney Day (12 March).

Paul Gardiner received a life-changing kidney transplant in November after his aunt and godmother, Caroline Bowman, put herself forward as a living donor.

Paul was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) as a child, a condition he and his brother Frazer inherited from their father.

In his early thirties tests showed his kidney function was declining. When it reached 20 per cent, Caroline had no hesitation in putting herself forward to be considered as a living donor for her nephew – after her sister Susan, Paul’s mother, did the same thing for Paul’s dad Trevor in 2010.

Caroline said, “I’ve seen at firsthand the difference Trevor’s transplant made and how, by becoming his kidney donor, my sister was able to give him back his health. That’s why, when Paul’s kidneys started to fail badly, I knew it was time to find out if I could be his donor so he could have a life-changing transplant too.

“I just wanted to help make the transplant happen to turn everything around and give him a future.  I’d do it all again in an instant and – knowing how life-changing a transplant can be and what a positive experience it is to become a donor – I’d certainly encourage anyone in a similar situation to find out about living organ donation. Sharing the gift of life could be the most important thing you ever do.”

Over 800 people in Scotland have helped others by donating a kidney in the last decade.  A kidney from a living donor generally offers the best outcomes for patients living with kidney failure who need a transplant.

There are two routes to living kidney donation – directed donation where a friend, relative or partner donates to a loved one, or non-directed altruistic donation which involves a person donating to a stranger.

Paul, who is recovering well and looking ahead to life with his fiancée Rachel, said, “It’s still early days but the transplant has already made a huge difference.  Within a matter of weeks my kidney function had improved dramatically, going up from just 14 per cent to over 50 per cent, and it should carry on getting better.

“That’s really changed everything for me. Before the operation I was completely exhausted the whole time but that feeling of being wiped out has gone now. That will let me become much more active again and be able to do so many things I couldn’t do, from normal everyday activities to sports I had to give up, like skiing.

“Thanks to my aunt, I have a future, can make plans and enjoy life with Rachel and my family.”

To find out more about living donation visit

Celebration Event marks fifth anniversary of Community Innovation Fund

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Non Executive Members of NHS Tayside Board with community capacity building officer Richard McIntosh (centre)

A showcase event was held in The Steeple in Dundee to celebrate the success of community projects funded by NHS Tayside’s Community Innovation Fund.

Representatives from over 40 funded projects from across Tayside presented their work to NHS Tayside and shared their ideas and information with other community projects.  Over 150 community groups have been awarded money since the launch of NHS Tayside’s Community Innovation Fund five years ago.

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

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Non Executive Trudy McLeay with members of Sidlaw Mens Shed

NHS Tayside’s community capacity building officer Richard McIntosh said, “The event was a celebration of the incredible work of community groups right across Tayside where people have come together to make their lives healthier, to make the lives of other people better and, ultimately, make a better society for us all.

“The examples of the projects highlighted really showed the inspirational ways through which people all across Tayside have come together to develop exciting ideas that are now coming to fruition and delivering major benefits to society.

“NHS Tayside is a strong believer in the role community groups play and how their activities make a vital contribution to a healthier society. Community groups build their activities from firsthand experience and maximise the local knowledge and connections available. Building resilience in communities is a vital way of helping people to live healthy lives, and is a key part of the strategy of NHS Tayside to improve the wellbeing of the population of the region.

“The Fund 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.”

Celebration Event Richard Mcintosh and Dr David Dorward
Richard McIntosh and outgoing lay chair of NHS Tayside’s Charities Committee Dr David Dorward

Heather Simpson from Tayside Council on Alcohol said, “We are delighted with the opportunity that the Community Innovation Fund has given us. Our Kith ‘n’ Kin choir has been so successful in creating a safe, healthy and calming space and the project has significantly improved the lives of people throughout Dundee who experience many health inequalities.

“We have found that the wellbeing of everyone has been uplifted, our carers feel that their own confidence has grown and this would not have been possible without the support of the community capacity building officer and the Community Innovation Fund.”

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Members of Connect Perth

The Community Innovation Fund aims 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 visit the website



We are celebrating 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife – come and join us!

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NHS Tayside is supporting the World Health Organisation’s International Year of the Nurse and Midwife campaign.

Board Champion Emma Jane Wells, the Nursing and Midwifery Directorate and Area Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Committee (ANMAC) are supporting the campaign with a celebration event and a bespoke leadership programme for young leaders in nursing and midwifery called The Nightingale Challenge.

The celebration event, which takes place in the Gannochy Lecture Theatre at Ninewells on 11 May, will provide an opportunity to share success and good practice.

It will recognise and celebrate the committed, skilled and inspirational nurses and midwives who offer and deliver care in community and hospital locations to the population of Tayside.

The theme of ‘person-centeredness’ will underpin the event which is an opportunity to consider how we care for one another as well as those we care for.

Associate Nurse Director Sarah Dickie will be sharing her thoughts and reflections on how we will offer The Nightingale Challenge during the event.

A networking lunch will be provided from noon on the promenade area (in the Medical School) providing the opportunity to meet exhibitors from Healthy Working Lives, Spiritual Care, Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing and many others.  The main programme will then begin at 1pm.

Staff are invited to register at Eventbrite for this afternoon of celebration to learn about the experiences of those both delivering and experiencing care.

Further information will be shared in LowDown through Twitter @ANMACNHSTayside.

The International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 is an international celebration of the world’s 22 million nurses and two million midwives who make up half of the global workforce and are accountable and responsible for providing care.

Across the world nurses and midwives diagnose illnesses, prescribe life saving drugs, administer vaccines and provide expert care throughout the life continuum.


AHP research survey

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As part of the ongoing work around the NMAHP Contribution to Transforming Tayside, the Allied Health Professions Directorate has launched a Tayside-wide survey to find out about AHPs’ engagement with research.

AHP research lead Dr Jenna Breckenridge is inviting all AHPs to complete the survey and will use the results to design a tailored strategy and programme of support to strengthen the profile of AHP research in Tayside.

The study (which has ethical approval from the University of Dundee) will be the first of its kind to explore AHP research culture in Scotland, adding to a growing international literature in this area.

Jenna wants to hear from as many AHPs as possible, whether or not you identify as research active. She is interested in the views of all the AHP professions, at all levels, across Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross. This includes AHP support workers and spiritual care colleagues.

If this sounds like you, then please click this link to complete the questionnaire

This is an exciting opportunity to not only have a say in how NHS Tayside supports AHP research as an organisation, but to contribute to the global understanding of how best to maximise opportunities for AHP research.

Supervisor development programme

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The third cohort of NHS Tayside’s supervisor development programme is open for applications until 11 March.

Staff in their first line manager or supervisor role, those who have recently joined NHS Tayside in a manager role, or those who aspire to apply for such a role are encouraged to apply.

This development opportunity is suitable for staff from all disciplines in clinical and non clinical roles.  It is a blended approach to learning which includes a mixture of self directed learning, completion of e-learning modules and attendance at programmed learning events.

The programme has been designed to provide a flexible suite of learning that will equip staff with the key knowledge and skills that form the basis of success in a managerial or supervisory role. This suite is aligned to the National Occupational Standards for individuals in a Team Lead role. These standards define the criteria required to effectively carry out various management and leadership functions.

The third cohort of participants will commence in April 2020. Line manager approval must be obtained prior to booking.  The launch date for the programme is 2 April, 2pm-3pm in the Improvement Academy at Ninewells.

If you would like an application pack, please contact Nicola Ferguson on or 01382 740063.  The application process closes on 11 March.

Nursing and Midwifery Education Conference

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Book your place at NHS Tayside’s Nursing and Midwifery Education Conference on 18 March.

The event is open to registered and student nurses and midwives and will provide an opportunity to:

  • learn more about current educational priorities and consider what these mean for your own role
  • hear about new and existing educational resources
  • gain useful insights to take back to your workplace
  • network with colleagues

Click here to view the conference programme

Book your place on Eventbrite

What we did in NHS Tayside last week

Have you ever wondered how many patients we see and treat in NHS Tayside? Here’s a snapshot of some of our activity over the past week.

Many more patients are treated every day by our GP and community colleagues and we provide many other services in our hospitals such as x-rays, scans and other tests.

Each missed appointment costs NHS Tayside £151. Please contact your outpatient department if you are unable to attend an appointment so that we can rearrange it for a suitable time and give the appointment to someone else.

MAIN What we did in NHS Tayside last week

Exploring how we help patients give feedback

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NHS Tayside’s care experience group has been working with volunteers and public partners around knowledge and understanding of how patients can share feedback.

About half of patients responding to the biannual national hospital care experience survey state they don’t know how to provide feedback on their care experience.

The care experience group has been exploring how to best inform staff and patients on the different ways in which they can share their care experiences.

During January, the group interviewed staff and patients to identify recommendations on how we can improve our information to patients, families and healthcare workers.

Patient feedback   

83% of patient and family responses indicated they had not been informed on how they could provide feedback.

People’s ability to engage with information is varied so different messages and mediums of providing information are needed. In particular, information needs to be accessible to those whose first language is not English, those who have visual impairment or other communication difficulties, children and those who find it difficult to understand the written word.

People might want information at different times, before and during their stay, and staff need to tailor that to what the person needs and wants. It was suggested that there should be a combination of methods such as posters, leaflets, feedback forms, verbal information, and also to share information at discharge or admission.

Staff feedback

Of the healthcare workers that had confidence to describe the various ways in which feedback could be provided, only 38% of healthcare indicated they were fully confident and comfortable with this.  Staff said that they would benefit from gaining more awareness, knowledge and understanding of the methods and the processes, with many not currently knowing where to find relevant information.

In some areas, staff did not routinely raise awareness or promote patient feedback with patients and families.

Early recommendations  

  • Raise awareness and build confidence among healthcare workers
  • Continue to create an open culture to promote, receive and share feedback
  • Work in partnership with a wide variety of people of all abilities to develop information, resources and feedback methods to enable easy access for all

What next?

These recommendations and the detailed findings will be shared with the Care Experience Feedback group and integrated into their existing work plan. Anyone who is interested in supporting this work can note their interest to Dr Debbie Baldie at or Heather Robb at

The group would like to thank everyone that contributed to this work. Their time, insights and suggestions have been invaluable.

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Tayside pharmacy scoops top awards

Main Tayside pharmacy scoop top awards Steve Anderson MD, Phoenix photographed with Davidsons Chemists, Bridge of Earn

Davidsons Chemist in Bridge of Earn has walked away with two major accolades at this year’s annual Scottish Pharmacist Awards at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre.

The Bridge of Earn pharmacy picked up the Pharmacy of the Year Award as well as the Working in Partnership Award for its work around supporting the transfer of patients when the Bridge of Earn Medical Practice closed.

Last year Davidsons Chemist in Bridge of Earn was very involved in transferring 3500 patients from the local GP surgery to other practices in the vicinity. The pharmacy worked collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to ensure that the transfer was as smooth as possible for the patients.

The judges praised the work of Davidsons Chemist, stating it ‘was an exceptional project undertaken in exceptional circumstances. The response from the pharmacy team was outstanding. Key to their success was the existing goodwill and respect for the pharmacy, leadership by the branch manager and collaboration with a range of stakeholders within and beyond the profession.’

Biomedical Cluster to bring significant benefits to economy

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Architect’s image of the proposed Innovation Hub

A project to grow the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster of world-class life sciences companies will generate hundreds of millions of pounds for the local economy and strengthen Scotland’s reputation as a centre of excellence, according to new economic analysis.

The proposed Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster, led by the University of Dundee in partnership with NHS Tayside, has been earmarked for £25million in initial funding from the Scottish Government through the Tay Cities Deal.

The project builds on Dundee’s world-renowned reputation for life sciences research, drug discovery and medical devices.

Central to the project is an Innovation Hub close to the University’s School of Life Sciences at Dundee Technopole. This will house new high-growth Life Sciences companies, as well as providing high quality employment for the local workforce. In addition, a state of the art medical device research and development facility will be developed in the School of Medicine and NHS Tayside.

A recently completed economic analysis forecasts that the local economy will benefit in excess of £175million with 250 new jobs by 2033.

Honorary consultant radiologist Professor Graeme Houston, who leads the medical devices research and is Director of the Biomedical Cluster, said, “This investment offers excellent facilities for translation of research from scientists and NHS clinicians to develop new treatments for patients.”

The Tay Cities Deal is a partnership between local, Scottish and UK governments and the private, academic and voluntary sectors which seeks to create a smarter and fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.