NHS Heroes: Kwasi Looks For Improvement In Hospitals And On The Streets

1st Sep 2019

When it comes to big businesses there’s plenty of number crunching behind the scenes. Trying to make sure everything fits or balances, attempting to identify trends and seeking answers. Quantifying what is known into understanding what is needed.  That’s especially true of the National Health Service, and today’s NHS Hero – 42 year old Kwasi Owusu-Asamoah – is one such behind the scenes data wrangler.

For four years now, Kwasi has been working with the NHS in Improvement Analysis.  Providing analytical support for Improvement projects within Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. Being on the administrative side it’s a more focused role in terms of day-to-day activities, but the Improvement Projects that are being worked on are varied.

“On any given day, I can usually be found extracting data from databases, running and disseminating reports on ongoing improvement projects, or updating the individual project management boards,”  Kwasi told us, who got into data analysis thanks to something of a questioning nature. Although admitted a career as a university lecturer was also something he would have been interested in pursuing.

“I like to ask questions about everything – after all it’s how we find out what needs to be found out – and with both data analysis and health management always having been subject areas I’ve been very interested in, it seemed a very natural for me to pursue a career in data analysis.  That’s why I’m able to help develop systems to manage and report on information within a healthcare organisation such as Sandwell and West Birmingham is fantastic. I enjoy the fact that the work done is quantifiably helping to improve the patient experience across the Trust.”

“At the moment I’m producing reports to monitor how wards are operating the early discharge project. Statistics and graphs are produced to show how wards measure up to set targets, which in turn informs wards managers and clinicians as to decisions that need to be taken to achieve targets. I am also working with teams on the training for Unity – the Trust’s switch over to digital systems. This project monitors the number of staff that are being trained, with a goal to regularly informing managers as to the numbers of staff yet to undertake training. The project has successfully managed the training database from over 400 untrained staff, to a current list of just about a hundred.

A resident of Handsworth Wood and married with one son, Kwasi would happily like to get away to somewhere quiet, rural, secluded and very much surrounded by nature. However, part of his time is spent concentrating on more urban matters within Birmingham through volunteering at a local charity.

“I help out in a charity, Mustard Seed, that is helping to keep at-risk youth off the streets. The charity provides outdoor activities, supportive literature, and hosts talent events for youth within the Nechells area of Birmingham.”

As for a hero of his own, Kwasi admits to having several covering both religion and politics, but that the one that sticks out for him is his own father.

“My dad always told me I could be anything I wanted, if only I worked hard enough for it. He has consistently encouraged me to expect better of myself academically, in life and in my career,” explains Kwasi. “I saw him work incredibly hard to start and successfully manage a number of businesses. To him the way to success was putting in the effort, and at 76 still doesn’t see the need to slow down. ‘To do what’ is the response to numerous questions of when he intends to retire. “

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