Copyright 2017 - Clinical Commissioning Groups Association

Health & Safety in surgeries isn't a "Dark Art"! - Linden Ruskin

Back in 1996, I was a Practice Manager in Wiltshire and accepted a project from the Health Authority to develop a means for its’ 92 surgeries to not only comply quickly and easily with Health & Safety legislation but also keep it up-to-date. I discovered that the main challenge was in wading through the vast amount of paperwork to find out what really needed to be done to comply with legal and Best Practice standards. I had to develop something that was easy to understand, use and above all was specific to Primary Care so no time or ‘head space’ was wasted on irrelevant information.

The result of my KISS (Keep it Simple Surgeries), back-to-basics approach became Linden Ruskin Training Ltd and - albeit doing it differently as can be seen with Moley’ overleaf – now helps individual surgeries, Medical Centres, clinics and private practices together with CCGs, LMCs and Federations around the UK.

Given, however, that Health & Safety is seen as a scary/intimidating/complicated/daunting/don’t know-where-to-start subject, it also became obvious that attitudes had to be changed before even getting anyone to tackle their Health & Safety. CQC (believe it or not) has helped here by ensuring Partners ‘get’ that Health & Safety isn’t optional - something Practice Managers have always struggled to put across to them. Also, that the approach I and my team take is above all to be approachable and friendly. We will never frighten anyone with legislation or bamboozle them with jargon. We never nit-pick at exactly what sub-section of which Regulation has been broken but rather how to get it sorted as quickly and easily as possible. Linden always says ‘ If you can run a busy surgery, you can do Health & Safety …you just need a bit of help to get it right. So please do give her a ring on 01278 793200 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to have a no obligation chat on how the following may be able to help you with your Health & Safety.

The Medical Health & Safety Pack

This boxed set of 2 binders in its’ bright packaging is not only hard for Practice staff to ignore but is also proving a bench mark of proficiency to CQC Inspectors!

The simple 3-step User Guide explains how to use the Questionnaire to ensure that every aspect of legal compliance and Best Practice is covered together with dotting all the i’s and crossing the t’s for CQC. Cross referenced to the underpinning knowledge in the ‘Supplemental’ and the template Policies, forms and checklists for the virtual ‘Hippocrates Surgery’ Appendices are also supplied on a CD to aid the changing of names and arrangements for individual surgeries or federations.

Updated each year, the hard and electronic copies form part of the Annual Retainer Scheme with a help line, Myth Buster Guides and email alerts about new concerns and issues that arise between Pack Updates. Equally relevant whether attempting to tackle a surgery’s Health & Safety for the first time, dealing with mounds of inherited paperwork or ensuring that what is in place is absolutely and completely up-to-date, the Pack leads the way, step-by-step to get it sorted or to put it another way, peace of mind for a £1 a day.

Note: Practices with a current pack can also take advantage of our Quick Start (We get them going quicker) or Fast Track (We do it for them) Services if time is in shorter supply than usual or CQC are on their way...

“At last a useable Health & Safety toolkit written by a Practice Manager for Practice Managers.” Riverbank Medical Centre 

“To have the Health & Safety for the Practice taken care of in such an easy, effective and time saving way is worth its’ weight in gold.  It’s a life saver!” Wells City Practice

Infection Control Policy CD

It was the remark by a Lead Nurse about her sleepless nights worrying about the all singing and dancing Infection Control Policy she was supposed to be producing, that led to another of Linden’s light bulb moments. She asked if a template with all the necessary Policies, audit forms and checklists would be useful? The Nurse’s response could be described in 3 words ‘hand’, ‘bitten’ and ‘off’! Available as a stand-alone product, it enables Practices to easily comply with legislative requirements, Best Practice and accepted national standards including – of course - CQC. At under a £100 including VAT, it’s a bit of a bargain really to keep your Practice Nurses happy and – most importantly – seeing patients!

Training script for practice staff

Again a stand-alone product sought after by Practice Managers, the seven page Generic Training Script and hand out are provided first in a pdf version showing how it would be delivered to the staff of the virtual Hippocrates Surgery as in the Pack. The second, is in MS Word for easy customisation that can be delivered by a non-trainer in around half-hour. Staff are made aware of who is responsible for what areas of Health & Safety and what arrangements have been put in place for them and any other users of the surgery. Most importantly, it stresses the part staff have to play in keeping everyone safe.

Training and coaching

All our trainers and coaches have ‘got the sweatshirt’ from working in General Practice and that is probably why they are so successful together with their passion for removing the fear factor and just getting it sorted. This encourages delegates to share their issues/concerns/problems knowing that only practical, knowledgeable solutions will be given in return. Action Plans enable tasks to not only be tackled one at a time back at the surgery but also ensure nothing is forgotten. Although our lively delivery style (no PowerPoint, plenty of handouts and chocolate digestives) ensures that participants enjoy getting to grips with Health & Safety it is probably our specific Risk Assessment training that is particularly appreciated. So often treated as a theoretical process by others, we deal in real situations in real Practices, concentrating on the risk assessments that surgeries need, have or want to carry out. By using real risk assessments (redacted of course), we can engender confidence in delegates of what risk assessment in a surgery is all about.

We have developed a great track-record for removing the huge spectre and burden of Health & Safety – literally turning mountains into molehills – shown by numerous unsolicited testimonials. We are proud to demystify a subject thought too complicated to even tackle and give Partners and Practice Managers the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to keep themselves, their staff and their practices safe!

Content provided by Linden Ruskin for Linden Ruskin Training Ltd. For more information call 01278 793200, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.LRTraining.co.uk.

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