SMACC Day 2 Afternoon Sessions: St Emlyn’s

Another great morning at SMACC Day 2, with a lot of great consolidative talks to learn from and gain some take homes to change your practice. You can read Simon’s blog with the key messages from the morning here, but let’s take a look at what the afternoon had in store.

Learning and Culture: At the Coalface

In critical care our patient journeys can be complex and teamworking can therefore be difficult. A fantastic session by Vic Brazil, Eve Purdy and Jenny Rudolph discussed how we can learn better together by understanding how everyone in the team works.

In the debrief room we not only try to get better, but also to get better at getting better. Next time you debrief, get each member of the team to think about what is working, but also what you could have done just 1% better, it’s tangible and achievable, and can lead to an upward trajectory of improvement, just from that 1%.

Next up was Chris Hicks. He’s an amazing speaker and his talks are always a highlight for me. He gave his top tips for creating psychological safety and the importance of doing so particularly in high pressure situations.

When the team is forming in bits and pieces it’s essential that you make people feel welcome and safe.

During a challenging situation, as team leader you need to create a safe environment to speak up, which can be something as simple as just asking the team “what am I missing?”.

In the aftermath it’s important to debrief as it creates ties between members and improves psychological safety, reinforcing it and setting the tone for the next patient you encounter.

Our very own Simon Carley was next up and discussed how we can find out just how good a clinician we are through peer review. His blog to accompany this will appear soon so have a look out for that in the next few days. It was also great to see him get some live peer review on his talk from Jesse Spurr at the end of the session. Hopefully he’s picked up some tips to improve the talk for next time!

Jenny Vaughan spoke on some prominent cases that have appeared in UK media over the last few years relating to doctors being charged with gross negligence manslaughter, and what we can learn from these cases to improve the way we practice worldwide. We here at St Emlyn’s are wholeheartedly behind the #LearnNotBlame movement, and supporting a culture of learning and system change.

People and the Planet: Practitioners as People

The final session theme focused on self-care. Andrew Davies took the first of the 3 Rs of self-care – Rest. As healthcare professionals we regularly let ourselves work too hard, rest too little, and get fatigued too often. Sleep not only helps us to reset and rest, but gives huge health benefits and likely makes us more efficient and happy in our day job.

Nat May and Liz Crowe took on the second and third Rs – reflect and reinvigorate. Again, accompanying blogs will be released for their talks here on St Emlyn’s so I won’t spoil those too much! Briefly though, Nat outlined how reflection is the best tool we have to improve decision making, and therefore patient care. Liz gave us a few extra self-care Rs to go along with this – re-energise, reconnect, rhythm. Get that energy back and be careful how you spend it, reconnect with those people important to you, and use music to change your mood.

We also heard from James Maskalyk, author and medic who relived his experiences out with MSF in Sudan and how he coped with the immense suffering he witnessed whilst out there.

Christine Lai discussed how on the back of a report by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, a campaign and course called Operate With Respect was developed to give surgeons the confidence and capability to spot and report bullying in the workplace.

Pacific Islands Playlist

The playlist for the afternoon session paid tribute to our SMACC Junior team who work tirelessly behind the scenes and at the venue to ensure that the conference goes smoothly. We’re hugely grateful to the team for their work and so proud of our Virchester Medical Students Claire Bromley and Charlotte Underwood for their roles on the team this year.

Final Thoughts

The afternoon session of day 2 was all about how we can improve things for our team, and how we can improve things for ourselves. There was a huge amount of things to reflect on and much we can all try to do to make our home and work environment a better place for the future.



Cite this article as: Chris Gray, "SMACC Day 2 Afternoon Sessions: St Emlyn’s," in St.Emlyn's, March 28, 2019,

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  1. Pingback: Podcast Round Up March 2019. St Emlyn's • St Emlyn's

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