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60 seconds with quality improvement lead Katie De Freitas

Improvement requires diversity of thought, so get involved and don’t be afraid to ask questions, says quality improvement lead at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Katie De Freitas. 
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Improvement requires diversity of thought, so get involved and dont be afraid to ask questions, says quality improvement lead at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Katie De Freitas

Katie De Freitas started her midwifery career in 2008 after graduating from City University in London. She has worked in clinical and project roles, and in October 2013 won a Mary Seacole Award for her project to develop midwives cultural competency. With funding from Health Education England, she developed a cultural competence e-learning tool for health professionals, which was launched last year. She has been in her current role as quality improvement lead at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children since March 2015.

What are your main work responsibilities? Supporting and coaching teams though improvement

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Improvement requires diversity of thought, so get involved and don’t be afraid to ask questions, says quality improvement lead at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Katie De Freitas


Katie De Freitas supports teams to improve the safety and efficiency of
the care they deliver. Picture: Barney Newman

Katie De Freitas started her midwifery career in 2008 after graduating from City University in London. She has worked in clinical and project roles, and in October 2013 won a Mary Seacole Award for her project to develop midwives’ cultural competency. With funding from Health Education England, she developed a cultural competence e-learning tool for health professionals, which was launched last year. She has been in her current role as quality improvement lead at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children since March 2015. 

What are your main work responsibilities?  
Supporting and coaching teams though improvement efforts, including projects aimed at improving safety, effectiveness, efficiency and making better use of resources.

How did you get your job?  
After qualifying as a midwife, I gained a Masters degree in leadership and service improvement in health care. I have been involved in numerous improvement projects within the maternity setting, and am trained in change, project and programme management. 

Who are your clients/patients?
Children and young people, parents and families.

What do you love about your job? 
Seeing the impact improvements have to front line care and how relatively small changes can make a difference to patients and staff.

What do you find most difficult? 
The sad and difficult situations some of our children, young people and families have to experience.

What is your top priority at work?
Ensuring staff have the support, skills and resources to make important improvements.

What has been your most formative career experience? 
My role as team leader for an antenatal, postnatal and maternity triage unit helped me to understand the challenges and complexities in practice, and how we can work together to achieve the best outcomes.

What is the best lesson nursing has taught you? 
Good communication is essential. It is an integral part of providing quality and safe care. When we get it right, patients feel empowered, and staff are better able to transition to new ways of working.

What career advice would you give your younger self? 
We can all make a difference and be the change we want to see. Improvement requires diversity of thought, so get involved and don’t be afraid to ask questions.   


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