HNC Healthcare and Pre-registration Nursing Programme

NHS Tayside has sponsored places on a HNC programme for healthcare support workers and healthcare assistants who wish to undertake pre-registration nurse training.

The HNC Healthcare and Pre-registration Nursing Programme is open to all healthcare support workers and healthcare assistants interested in undertaking nurse training in Adult, Mental Health and Learning Disability fields.

Applications are invited from staff who wish to be considered for the HNC programme commencing in August 2019.  For further information click here.

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.

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Death certification e-training for doctors

SIDE Death certification e-training for doctorsDoctors in Scotland are being encouraged to complete two e-learning modules on death certification.

The modules, which have been produced by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in partnership with Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Death Certification Review Service (DCRS), are designed to support certifying doctors to complete Medical Certificates of Cause of Death (MCCDs).

Module 1 is entitled ‘Death Certification: Identifying Common Mistakes’. It is intended for doctors who are completing MCCDs in Scotland or doctors who have finished a training module on death certification and wish to confirm or improve their understanding of the subject.

Module 2 – ‘Certification of Deaths in the Community’ – is primarily intended for doctors who are working in general practice in Scotland and may need to deal with sudden or expected deaths in the community.

Janice Turner of NES said, “It is anticipated that completion of both of these modules will help to reduce errors and also improve communication between all relevant clinicians and service providers which will ultimately enable a better experience for those who are bereaved.”

DCRS senior medical reviewer George Fernie said, “These modules are a key component in helping DCRS to deliver its overall aim of improving the quality and accuracy of MCCDs and we would encourage certifying doctors to log on and complete them as a matter of priority.”

The modules are available at

Unite – Keeping Families Together project

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A team from maternity and neonatal services held an information session in Ninewells to raise awareness and provide information on the Unite – Keeping Families Together project.

The project involves a team of doctors, midwives, maternity care assistants and advanced nurse practitioners and aims to keep families together by reducing avoidable admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit.

The team works with parents to improve services and information giving in maternity and neonatal services.

Last year the team were recognised with an Excellence for Quality Improvement award in Maternity, Neonatal and Paediatric Services at the Quality Improvement Awards.

Have you nominated your NHS Tayside STAR?

We’ve received nearly 250 nominations so far for this year’s STAR Awards.  Have you nominated your shining STAR?

Members of staff and the public can recognise their STARs by nominating at

Last year Ninewells Ward 38 won the Outstanding Team Gold Award and senior charge midwife Amanda Kean is sharing what it meant to her team to be recognised with this accolade.

Now in their third year, the STAR Awards celebrate the individuals, teams and services working within NHS Tayside that deliver outstanding patient care or go the extra mile in their job.

You can nominate your NHS Tayside STARs in six categories – Outstanding Individual (clinical), Outstanding Individual (non-clinical), Outstanding Team, Innovation in Practice, Quality/Service Improvement and Inspiring Educator.

The different award categories mean that staff working in all job roles across the organisation can be nominated, including frontline medical staff, those working in the community, our support service staff and those who work behind the scenes in our research labs, medical records or other ‘hidden’ departments who may not deal with patients on a day-to-day basis.

If you believe you know an unsung hero or team of heroes who have really gone that extra mile, it is quick and easy to nominate your own STAR at

Anyone who has difficulty accessing the website or who needs assistance to complete the nomination form can call 01382 632021.

Closing date for nominations is Friday, 1 March at 5pm.

Members of the public can also nominate their NHS Tayside STARs in the Outstanding Individual (clinical), Outstanding Individual (non-clinical) and Outstanding Team categories.

Local man given the gift of sight

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For James ‘Laurie’ Patton, new corneas he received through the organ donation scheme have made his life both brighter and richer.

Laurie, who is from Luncarty in Perthshire, could not be happier with the outcome of the two cornea operations he underwent at Ninewells Hospital last year. The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer and is the clear dome-shaped surface that covers the front of your eye. It plays an important role in focusing your vision.

Laurie said, “I never thought I would see my grandchildren play on the beach or that I would be able to see them properly, but I can see perfectly now. It’s just fantastic.

“I worked in the art department at DC Thomson for 46 years, my whole life really, and it was hard work on my eyes. I have worn glasses since I was 19. After I retired, driving was becoming a bit of a problem.

“I went to my doctor who sent me to my optician and on to a specialist at Perth Royal Infirmary then to Dr Welch in Dundee.

“Dr Welch is such a nice man and he has made a big improvement to my life. He is such an asset to Ninewells and the staff at the hospital are so good. Everyone is so friendly and I couldn’t say enough about the quality of care. I think it’s been better than private care because everyone went above and beyond.”

Dr James Welch, consultant ophthalmologist at NHS Tayside and a cornea and anterior segment specialist, said, “I preformed bilateral corneal transplants on Laurie and his vision has improved significantly. The return of good vision has made a big different to his quality of life.

“Organ donation can give a whole new life to the recipient and while the loss of a loved one can never be understated, giving the gift of life to someone through organ donation might give some consolation to those left behind. One organ donor can save or transform up to seven lives.

“Lots of people think they would be unsuitable to donate organs and tissues because of medical history or lifestyle choices, but each potential donor is individually assessed and we need people from all ethnicities and backgrounds to register. Joining the organ donor register takes about two minutes but those two minutes could quite literally save a life.”

You can register to be a donor at

Angus project shortlisted for national award

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The Letham Health and Wellbeing Centre in Angus has been shortlisted in the Innovative Remote and Rural Services category of the Annual Scottish Digital Health and Care Awards.

The awards aim to recognise the achievements of those working in the health and social care sector whose creativity and innovation put Scotland at the forefront of the digital revolution in healthcare and improve the life chances and quality of patients across the country.

The Letham Health and Wellbeing Centre, which opened in October 2015, acts as a hub for local health and wellbeing solutions for the community of Letham, a village with a high percentage of elderly among its 3100 inhabitants.

In order to provide better services to the inhabitants of Letham, the centre now houses clinics for cardiac, podiatry and anticoagulation led by specialist nurses, and improvements have been made on how people can book appointments. In addition, receptionists at every participating GP practice in the area can schedule appointments for the clinics in Letham. The local community pharmacy also reviews people from minor illnesses, reducing the need for people to attend their GP surgery.

The installation of a ‘Surgery Pod’ in the hub, the first development of its kind in Scotland, has enabled people to measure their own vital signs and answer clinical questionnaires via the touch screen device. Measurements are sent electronically to the GP practice where a person is registered.

Vicky Irons, Chief Officer for Angus HSCP, said, “As a result of these changes, access to healthcare services has improved because people can now visit the local centre in their village instead of travelling to see their GP.

“Between 2015 and 2017 there has been a 400% increase in activity at the clinic in Letham. Fewer home visits are needed so the nurses are avoiding unnecessary travel time releasing more time for care. If people have difficulty in attending an appointment at the Letham Health and Wellbeing Centre they can speak to their GP practice or community nurse for advice.”

“I am delighted that the Letham Health and Wellbeing Centre is being recognised by the Scottish Digital Health and Care Awards and I would like to thank everyone for all the efforts they have put in to creating these changes and for the work they continue to do every day.”

The Digital Health and Care Awards ceremony takes place on 20 February, 2019.