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‘The intrigue of making the future happen now…’

Kenny AjayiAs part of our day in a life series exploring the different team roles here at ICHP, Programme Lead – Patient Safety, Kenny Ajayi shares his day with us.

I first open my eyes…

My alarm goes off at 6am with usually a 10 minutes snooze. Sometimes it’s earlier if I am working on a presentation or project and I’ll briefly look at emails that might have arrived from any of my night owls colleagues!

Breakfast is usually a bowl of melon and grapes from the Sainsbury near the office but could also be a scone and decaffeinated Mocha if I miss my train (a pacifier for missing it!) My love affair with coffee is a paradox: the older I get the more I like coffee but the less coffee likes me, so decaf is the mediator! My commute to work is only 25 mins on the high speed train and another 15min brisk walk which does help to compensate for the scone days…

I’m responsible for…

I lead ICHP’s Patient Safety Programme through System leadership. My job is to deliver on our programme to make sure that healthcare delivery is safer in all care settings in North West London. This means working together with colleagues and ICHP partner organisations to improve the quality of services, introduce innovation and new technology.

To help explain what I do I like to use the analogy of driving a car with a speedometer that fluctuates not according to speed but according to road conditions, wind speed, or time of day; making reliable speed monitoring extremely difficult. The current methods of measuring the number of patients who suffer from sepsis are like an unreliable speedometer. This is why I am excited about our new Sepsis dashboard which will help us measure sepsis reliably and accurately (now up for national adoption by the other PSCs). We also have a cutting edge sepsis analysis tool in the pipeline that will focus on identifying factors that  improve or worsen sepsis outcomes in patients so that our clinical colleagues can be better at early recognition of sepsis.

My path took me…

I started out as a physiotherapist and then studied for MScs in human factors/ergonomics and then healthcare governance this led me on a path of risk management consultancy and now patient safety.

Over the last ten years, I have had four major game changing encounters with the NHS as a patient or with my close family. These experiences have varied in consistency and thankfully on one occasion the NHS saved the life of a close family member who was suffering from sepsis. Instead of standing on the side-lines and criticising the variation in standards of care; I decided then to roll up my sleeves and get in the game of making things better. I am at that stage of my career when I am thinking ‘legacy’!

My daily calendars reminders look like…

My diary is varied. The constant in my working life is connecting people to make healthcare delivery safer. The other day for example started with emails to colleagues on existing projects ready for a morning meeting to discuss the implementation of an electronic app on NEWS -National Early Warning Scores. This was followed with a telephone conference on winter pressures… more emails… a quick sandwich lunch… then straight into a co-design workshop on our sector wide maternity human factors training programme… the day ended with a debrief of the workshop with the colleague who facilitated the session.

My most memorable work moment…

I have been fortunate to have many memorable moments that keep me getting up in the mornings:

  • I’m extremely pleased with my driving role in reviving partner engagement in our patient safety programme to the point where partners feel a part of what we are trying to achieve together for patients
  • I look back and smile on the day that four senior colleagues from partner organisations, who had not been involved in our patient safety programme for a couple of years, attended a programme board meeting. Successfully, revising our patient safety strategy and obtaining NHSI endorsement for our Local Delivery Plan
  • Another was the day we heard that the bid I led to collaborate with the Health Foundation as a partner on the Q programme was successful
  • Also the day a partner organisation won a double national patient safety award and acknowledged the impact of the coaching I provided on their entry presentation.

My biggest groan about my job is…

It is a challenge working with very busy clinicians who are often balancing clinical responsibilities with collaboration on our projects and are therefore sometimes understandably hard to get hold of. Also a challenge are the fragmented nature of multiple non-integrated improvement initiatives landscape in the NHS. They say you cannot please all the people all the time-the challenge of  finding a ‘win-win’ when stakeholders sometimes have conflicting priorities.

My best part of my job…

The belief that we are making North West London a healthier population and the intrigue of making the future happen now. My ICHP team, the people I work to and those who work to me and I believe we can and are making a real impact.  ICHP is a very stimulating environment to work in, there is something inspiring about being surrounded by very bright and capable colleagues with enviable skill sets every day you step in to the office.