This week’s diary is a little late as I got caught up on Sunday with a technical issue while creating this Storify story.

Opening of GlaxoSmithKline Office in Belfast

Dr McBride cuts the ribbon at the new GSK NI office.

On Wednesday afternoon I attended the opening of GSK’s office in Belfast.  They are the only international pharmaceutical company to open a permanent office in Northern Ireland and they told guests that this signals their commitment to Northern Ireland and the HSC.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride told the audience that 14% of the HSC budget is spent on medications and spoke about focusing on the use and appropriateness of medications in relation to the TYC change agenda.  He also talked of the benefit NI derives from its small size, serving as an ideal test-bed for small cycle change.

Dr McBride also talked about the importance of collaboration between the health service and industry to bring new treatments and innovations to patients but counselled that such collaboration requires a responsible approach from both public and private partners.

Following the speeches and cutting of the ribbon we had the opportunity to learn a bit more about GSK’s involvement in NI and it was interesting to learn that they invest circa £20m per year in NI and £4Bn per year globally on R&D with the majority of that in the UK.

It was also interesting to learn that GSK makes lucozade, and some of it is made right here in Northern Ireland.  Chesapeake make the packaging and Mulgrew provide the haulage! So creating jobs in NI.

It was interesting to learn about the investment GSK have brought to the NI economy and it is encouraging that they have established a permanent base here and are committed to doing more work in NI.


Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record

On Thursday morning I attended the NIECR Functionality and Capability Awareness Session at the BSO (Business Services Organisation) in Belfast.

The aim of the session was to show an assembled group of clinicians and others the range of functionality and capability available through the ECR and to request that we all have an open mind about how other systems or needs could be integrated into this system.  It was a fascinating meeting and it was great to see the energy and enthusiasm in the room.  You can read the live tweet storify here.

I am heartened to see yet another group of people determined to make our HSC in Northern Ireland even better for patients, service users and staff.


Francis Briefing and Panel Discussion – Wed 8 May 2013 at 1800

This week we finalised arrangements for this event.  I organised it in conjunction with the Queens University Healthcare Leadership Forum because it had come to my attention that many clinicians – doctors, nurses and AHPs – didn’t know much about the Francis Inquiry Report and it’s 290 recommendations.  There have been several briefing events already but they are often during the day and this makes it very difficult for healthcare students and clinical staff to attend.  We have therefore arranged this event in the evening to accommodate these staff groups.

It has been a pleasure to work on this event with Adam Dalby,  a very enthusiastic 4th year medical student at QUB who founded and currently Chairs the QHLF.  If you’re interested in attending the event click this link


Live Tweeting and Healthcare Social Media

This week I was able to follow two interesting events via Twitter:

The Foundation Trust Network and Unipart Conference: Unlocking potential: engaging staff to deliver world class patient care

The hashtag was #FTNUnipart and you can see some of the tweets by checking out Unipart Consulting (@UnipartConsults) and Foundation Trust Network (@FTNtweets).

BMJ/IHI International Forum on Safety & Quality in Healthcare 2013

The hashtag was #Quality2013 and you can find out more by checking out the analytics and tweets on the Symplur Healthcare Hashtags Project page for the event.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (@NI_Amb_Service) and South Eastern HSC Trust (@setrust) were also live tweeting on Saturday about a road traffic collision involving a double-decker bus carrying wedding guests which had overturned outside Lisburn.  This enabled them to control the information being shared about the incident and prevent rumour and mis-information that might distress or alarm people.