Published: Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Creative thinking from an innovative hospital




When you think about creativity, you probably associate it with people in the arts – perhaps writers, painters, or musicians. But would you associate it with those who work in the NHS?


The general description of creativity is ‘the mental and social process used to generate ideas, concepts and associations that lead to the emergence of new ideas’. Or to put it simply: innovation. 


The Golden Jubilee has a great track record in innovation. It would take too long to talk about all of them, so I’ll give you a quick snapshot of a just a few.


One of our most well known innovations is our enhanced recovery programme. A multidisciplinary team approach which mobilises the patient on day of surgery and reduces the length of stay, this was originally introduced for our orthopaedic patients. The benefits to patients are well documented and it is wonderful to see that this it is being rolled out across all orthopaedic services in NHSScotland and to our other specialties here at the Golden Jubilee.


We were the first hospital inScotlandto perform Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement, a procedure which allows this specific valve to be replaced via a vein in the leg, avoiding the need for open heart surgery for patients who have specific congenital heart problems.


And we have launched 3D training, which allows orthopaedic medical students, trainee doctors and clinicians to practice surgical and regional anaesthesia techniques on 3D models and animations. In the future, it could also be used to help patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options, through seeing a visual representation of what their treatment will involve.


These are just a few of our innovations, but there are plenty more of them happening every day across our organisation, with an aim of improving care and services for patients acrossScotland.


It would be great to say that we specifically employed people who have creativity as an inborn trait. But it is not usually a naturally-occurring phenomenon. Creativity comes from encouraging and supporting our staff to seek innovation in their work.


The NHS inScotlandfaces increasing challenges. To continue to meet patient expectations and provide quality care, we must constantly develop. Becoming creative thinkers, becoming innovative in the way we work, and implementing effective new ideas is an integral part of building a culture of improvement.


To further develop this culture, we are currently working on different ways to create the right environment for our staff to flourish, not just in their every day role, but to allow them to develop ‘side projects’ whether that is in ground-breaking medical research, developing new ways to treat patients faster, or even a new way of fulfilling their role better.


The end product of this is better patient care. Every piece of new research, every new project, or every new strategy we undertake, we do it to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of our patients. And to me, that is a true tangible example of creativity in the workplace. 

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