Giving Back

Giving Back

This year's theme for the World Health Organization's World Patient Safety Day (17 September) is Engaging Patients For Patient Safety, in recognition of the crucial role patients, families and caregivers play in the safety of health care. Active patient involvement, both in their own personal care as well as at a strategic organisational level, is vital to help improve healthcare provision, and the RCSEd is delighted to support this year's WPSD theme. 

The RCSEd Patient Safety Group have produced a number of blogs as part of a campaign to mark World Patient Safety Day. In this blog, Patient Safety Group member Edith Scott describes her patient experience during a major operation, and how this inspired her to get involved in patient safety initiatives.

In October 2012 at 3.20am, I received a call from the Kidney co-ordinators to tell me I was to get up to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, as there was a kidney that was a match for me! I was absolutely gobsmacked, as I had only been on the register for 2 months.

The journey up there was about an hour and 15 minutes. I didn’t even have a bag ready, but made sure my hairdryer and straighteners were packed before we left.

From arriving at the hospital, it was like a different world. The surgeon came to see me and explained what would be happening. I couldn’t believe how smoothly things went and, though I’d never had a major operation before, I felt so relaxed with the professionalism of every member of staff who treated me. I was out in six days.

Straight away, I realised how lucky I was to have been given this gift, and decided I would give something back to the Kidney Community by helping in various ways.

I am a patient with the student examinations, and really enjoy the experience. I enjoy seeing how they work out my diagnosis, and listening to how they get to that decision. I’m retired, so have plenty time to do such events, and feel the importance of getting more doctors into the system is crucial.

I also joined the South East Scotland Kidney Patients Association to try and help out there where I can. My background was in newspapers and administration, so right away I was asked to join the committee. Twelve years later, and I’m still there. I give talks to various organisations, letting them know the up to date statistics on people waiting for transplants, and how they can get involved in being a donor. We hold awareness days at the local hospital, handing out leaflets and selling homemade cake and sweet treats to help our funds.

I am on the RCSEd Patient Safety Group, and I’m never failed to be amazed at just how hard working everyone in the group is. I have always had the greatest of respect for my Kidney Consultant, and I couldn’t have had better treatment over the years. Patient safety is such an important subject. Though times have been very difficult during the pandemic, let’s hope we can move on appreciating and embracing what lies ahead for all medical conditions.

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