Hairmyres Hospital Allergy Awareness Week, 13th -17th Nov 2017: #AllergyHM17

This is the first “guest blog” on the ScotPublicHealth site. Fran Kerr, Antimicrobial Pharmacist, provides the background to Hairmyres Hospital Allergy Awareness Week (#AllergyHM17), both in the hospital and on social media. Social media metrics (NodeXL map, and other tools that Fran has access to) will follow during the week.

If you’d like to contribute a blog to the ScotPublicHealth site then please get in touch with Dr. Graham Mackenzie, Consultant in Public Health Medicine.

The aim of Hairmyres Hospital Allergy Awareness Week (#AllergyHM17) is to improve assessment and documentation of patient medication allergies to reduce harm associated with the administration of medication to which the patient is allergic.

figure 1
Daily ‘gold star ‘medals

More reliable assessment and documentation of allergy, including the detail of any previous reactions, will also allow future engagement with the national SAPG (Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group) strategy to remove mislabelled penicillin allergy status. When patients are treated with alternatives to penicillin, because of mislabelled allergy, they have a more prolonged hospital stay and are at greater risk of developing resistant infections.

figure 2
Activities for the week including daily safety brief topics

Allergy Awareness week is supported by medical, nursing and pharmacy management and incorporates ward based activities plus social media (Twitter)

Ward activities include posters, quizzes including a novel ‘hands on’ antibiotics categories quiz, audit and daily staff safety briefs. Safety briefs are led by different staff groups each day including medical, nursing and pharmacy on a different theme each day. Daily themes include documentation, administration checks, high risk moments and patient empowerment

figure 3
Twitter Cup

Incentives including a ward hamper, voucher and the ‘Twitter Cup’ provide further motivation for wards to participate and generates some friendly competition.

The format of ‘Awareness Week’ has been tested previously (eg see this summary of the Monkland Hospital campaign) and has been shown to encourage ward based learning and teamwork and promote joy at work.

Other local awareness weeks include:

#MKallergyawareness17, #MKDPS17, #MKMAW17

For more information please contact:

or on Twitter @Frankerr1F


If you’d prefer a downloadable version of this blog, please click here: #AllergyHM17 blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s