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A day in the life of a QA advisor

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: General information, Screening Quality Assurance Service

My days are very varied working for the Screening Quality Assurance Service (SQAS) team across the North of England, with  lots of travelling involved.

I like the unpredictability of the role and really love that  no 2 days are the same. We have  a diverse population with differing health needs and a very mixed geography, which adds to the variability of the role.

Sheila on the phone

I like to take around 15 minutes to have a quiet think about the day ahead. After logging onto my laptop, I review my emails, especially for any updates on topics which may be relevant to my day.

It is also this time of the day when I scribe my daily task list and make any phone calls. These calls could be to a variety of people ranging from provider stakeholders with screening pathway queries, to fellow SQAS team members, colleagues within the screening and immunisation teams around screening safety incidents or screening midwives whose organisation may have a QA assessment visit coming up.

A typical day (if there is such a thing!)

This morning, I'm travelling approximately 30 miles to a NHS England Screening and Immunisation antenatal and newborn screening programmes board meeting.

At the meeting I will reinforce the cessation of the rubella susceptibility screening from the Infectious Diseases in Pregnancy Screening Programme. From a QA perspective this will include advising on education updates locally for the midwives, changes to existing standard operating procedures and website links for further information on the policy change.

This multidisciplinary  meeting is held every 3 months  and the agenda covers:

  • governance of all 6 antenatal and newborn screening programmes
  • new developments within screening
  • areas for improvement
  • screening programme laboratory reports
  • key performance indicator reports and sign-off processes
  • review of local screening safety incidents
  • best practice exemplars and shared learning
  • updates on QA visits

After the meeting I return to my base for the day. Before I get working again  I  take a brisk 15-minute walk to boost  my wellbeing and improve my resilience. I feel I'm much more productive in the afternoon as a result. Lunch is  a quick cuppa (northern brew off course!) and a bite to eat.

Then I get cracking on my to do list. I need to update the IT TrackWise screening incident log  and  prepare some slides for a local stakeholder’s screening event that I  am speaking at in a few weeks' time.  I  also need to review a document relating to a new QA model for screening laboratory that we will be implementing in the near future.

My top tip for managing my daySheila on her laptop

As many of you know, emails can sometimes take over your entire day. I try to have set times when I access emails so I can use my time more effectively and efficiently without the constant stream of messages disturbing my concentration.

End of the day

I usually spend the last half an hour or so reading new documents, PHE blogs and media messages about screening issues to keep fully informed.

I try to restrict the length of this time to make sure I have got a good- work balance. Today, my reading list includes a media article on the UK Lung Cancer Screening trial, a PHE blog about praise for the Herfordshire AAA screening programme and information about the PHE conference in the autumn.

I'm off home now to meet up with my daughter who has just been asked to be her best friend's bridesmaid so dress options will be high on the conversation list.

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