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Profile on Jenny MacFadgen, 2019/20 mental health and addiction quality improvement facilitator course graduate

Mental health & addiction quality improvement
16 July 2020

Jenny MacFadgen is one of the 2019/20 mental health and addiction quality improvement facilitator course graduates. She has a background in mental health nursing and is the quality facilitator for mental health services on the West Coast of the South Island. Here, Jenny talks about how she found the training, the project she completed and how the overall experience has influenced her work.

‘It’s a good role,’ Jenny says. ‘It had been vacant for a while, so there was a lot of work to be done when I started, but it’s been really exciting to work alongside our staff who are passionate about improving our mental health services.’

After 15 months in her new role with the West Coast District Health Board (DHB), Jenny took part in the course.

‘Initially I was quite daunted. I’d previously been involved in quality improvement initiatives but had never led any projects before, so the tools and methods were unfamiliar. I was both nervous and enthusiastic but also had to be clear about the issues we were trying to address.

‘The course workshops held in Auckland were very helpful. I realised everyone was feeling the same way. It was amazing to have the opportunity to network with people from all over New Zealand. The course tutors were so supportive and helpful.’

Jenny’s project was based in the DHB’s Manaakitanga Inpatient Unit. It looked at developing a more proactive and responsive approach to detecting the deterioration in a consumer’s presentation earlier.

‘We needed to ensure that any deterioration would trigger an early, timely and appropriate clinical response. Deterioration can happen at any time so by ensuring we had a timely recognition and response system it would improve our consumer care and result in a safer ward environment for both consumers and staff.’

Jenny ascertained that over 70 percent of incidents where deterioration was indicated occurred afterhours (4.30pm–8.00am and weekends and public holidays), so developing a robust tool that would help prompt and guide staff in recognising and responding to deterioration was vital. Jenny worked with the Manaakitanga team to develop and test a tool titled 5Rs Escalation Pathway.

‘Overall, I am pleased. The pathway needs more tweaking to get it right but seeing it in action has been very inspiring. I’ve learned to test small and test, test, test! Don’t ever give up, celebrate the small wins and keep the focus on the end goal!’

Congratulations to all the 2019/20 graduates and their project sponsors and teams for their excellent work this year.

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