Professor of Acute Medicine at Imperial College. Published on various aspect of acute health care and deputy chairman of NEWS Royal College of Physicians London Working Group.
I qualified as an R.G.N. in 1986 at St. James’s Hospital, Leeds and spent a year staffing on the Observation Ward attached to Accident & Emergency before moving to the Intensive Care Unit. I have worked within the Intensive Care Arena since 1987 and spent a year nursing in Sydney, Australia in 1991.
In Leeds I worked as a staff nurse and sister on ICU before taking on Practice Development in 1996, and becoming Senior Nurse – Effective Practice for the Critical Care Division in 1999. I took up my present post as Nurse Consultant at Airedale in December 2000.
Since moving to Airedale, I have introduced an Early Warning Scoring System (EWS) for recognising patients who are becoming acutely ill and have developed an algorithm and calling criteria for the response. Since April 2007, I have led a 24/7 nursing team whose role is to respond to these patients, prevent further deterioration and educate staff in caring for the acutely ill and complex patient. I have been involved in the development of the National Early Warning Scoring System (NEWS) due to be published in November.
I have been a member of the steering committee for the RCN Critical Care Forum since 2003 and have held the position of chair since 2006.
I have led the Northern Regional Clinical Practice Benchmarking group since 1999, having been involved in writing the Essence of Care Benchmarks.
I was a member of the scoping group for the NICE guideline on the Acutely Ill Patient and am actively involved in the Intensive Care Standards and Quality committee.
Having spent over 25 years at the coal face in critical care and outreach, Lesley is now Director and Lead Nurse for the North of England Critical Care Operational Delivery Network (ODN) UK which encompasses both adults and paediatrics. Lesley strongly believes that Networks are ideally positioned to become integral and enabling structures within the new UK NHS architecture. Her previous role as Nurse Consultant in Critical Care & Clinical Lead for Outreach and Follow-up Services at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, UK; Lesley describes as ‘one of the best jobs ever’!
Lesley believes emphatically that since their introduction, ‘Critical Care Outreach’ services and the introduction of ‘Early Warning Scores’ have made an immense and invaluable contribution to the quality and effectiveness of care for critically and acutely ill patients in hospital. Lesley was an active member of the UK Royal College of Physicians (RCP) ‘National Early Warning Score Development and Implementation Group’ (NEWSDIG) and the ‘NEWS Chart and Educational Programme’ sub-group, and considers that this key step forward towards standardisation of patient assessment and response has the potential to significantly reduce avoidable harm in both the hospital and pre-hospital settings within the UK and further afield.
Lesley had the privilege of serving as Chair of the National Outreach Forum (NOrF) between 2006 and 2010. She is a founding member and on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Rapid Response Systems (iSRRS), and has recently been elected to the Advisory Committee and is also the current Treasurer.
As an active member of both the NOrF (UK) and iSRRS Board’s, Lesley remains committed to providing vision, drive and facilitation to achieve the development of these organisations as recognised credible bodies representing and informing clinicians, patients and carers on all aspects of Critical Care Outreach Services and Rapid Response System’s both within the UK and internationally.
In addition to research into medical e-learning at the University of Leicester and Tokyo Medical University, as well as managing director of OCB Media, Dr. Blackwell has been the project lead on over 50 e-learning resources over the past 15 years and has won six e-learning awards, including three awards from the British Medical Association for e-learning development.
Specialist fields include the use of simulation and clinical scenarios in training, learning management system development and user interface design, as well as research into the evidence base supporting the development of learning models in e-learning.
Training for Innovation (TFI) was set up in 2006 as a national body with funding from the Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry. Our mission is to help create and disseminate innovative training tools to further accelerate adoption of new healthcare technologies in the NHS. We work in partnership with NHS, academic, educational and medical device companies to encourage knowledge exchange and promote best practice in medical technology training www.tfi.nhs.uk.