Corporate Information

Countess Gem - Deborah Brown

Deb Brown 1Service Improvement Lead Deborah Brown is the latest Countess Gem after her work on the Junior Doctor Foundation QI Teaching Programme was praised by a variety of colleagues.

Deborah, who has worked for the Trust for almost 20 years, has played a key role in creating and developing Quality Improvement initiatives at The Countess since 2008. Her extensive experience across a number of different roles, including working on maternity reception, as a ward clerk and as a service manager in Planned Care, helps her to collaborate with colleagues across the Trust, finding new ways to make things better for patients and staff.

In recent years Deborah has worked closely with the Trust’s Medical Team to provide Quality Improvement training and support to the Trust’s Foundation Doctors, ensuring they are supported and encouraged to embark on their own service improvement initiatives as part of their training.

“Having recognition from both senior clinical and non-clinical colleagues is fantastic,” Deborah said. “This project has been a learning curve for all of us, but we are very proud of our Junior Doctor Foundation Teaching Programme at The Countess.”

Deborah is particularly proud that she gets to play a role in developing the future healthcare leaders of tomorrow.

She added: “Our current junior doctors are our consultants of the future and if we can get them thinking about Quality Improvement now, showing how teams like ours can support them, it will only benefit our patients for years to come. I would hope it also shows that we, as a hospital, are dedicated to both developing them as individuals and constantly looking for new ways to provide the best care.”

You can read Deborah’s nominations below to see what colleagues said about her:

Hollie Salisbury

I'd like to nominate Debbie for a Countess GEM to provide her the recognition she deserves for all her work in supporting the junior doctors with Quality Improvement. Over the last two years Debbie has created and successfully delivered a programme which provides junior doctors the QI training, coaching and day to day support with projects that they require.

Dr Jamie Fanning

Deb has been truly outstanding in her support for the introduction and development of a 2-year, quality improvement teaching stream within our Foundation Teaching Programme. She has single-handedly written and implemented the curriculum which spans across the whole two-year foundation training period. Her QI programme is educationally sound and involves the progressive teaching of QI methodology alongside the design and completion of a QI project which Deb, again single-handedly, supports the Foundation Doctors to complete. She really is a QI champion in the deepest of senses. Not only is she committed to her work and works exceptionally hard, but she always does so with a smile on her face and with such a positive outlook. She is our gem! And should be recognised as a Countess gem. Thank you Deb, you’re a star!

Janet Ellis

We know that the future of our NHS depends on improving quality, driving through efficiencies that are safe and effective and to do this we need to tap into every resource we can.   Who better than the staff who work within the system every day.   Debbie shows how to do this with a systematic approach using QI tools. Debbie is a joy to work with, she has a great sense of humour and fun about her and she just makes us smile.

Our foundation doctors say:    
• “Debbie is committed to quality improvement and has put a lot of time and effort in to educating and supporting us as foundation doctors.   I didn’t know anything about QI before I started.”
• “She is friendly and approachable and is responsible for maintaining high clinical standards at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She works so hard.”

Mrs Jennie Grainger

Dedicated to the education of the foundations doctors. Passionate about quality improvement across the Trust. Has an infectious enthusiasm for QI.   Supportive colleague to all.

Veda Carter

I first met Debbie when I showed an interest in attending the QI workshops she co-ordinates; from the first time meeting her, her enthusiasm for QI was contagious, and she inspired me to want to learn more.  So much so, I left the role I was in and started working for clinical audit! Since then, Debbie and I have increasingly worked closer together in our respective roles.  She not only has her own great ideas founded by her vast knowledge of QI (moving QI and CA forward), she truly listens and takes on board other people’s opinions and most importantly drives the ideas into action. Debbie’s dedication in assisting the foundation doctors achieve their mandatory QIPs has been, and continues to be relentless.  I thoroughly enjoying working with Debbie and she truly deserves this nomination – good luck Deb!


Going forward Deborah is excited about the opportunities for Quality Improvement, highlighting how a culture of learning and continuous improvement is growing at The Countess.

She said: “Everyone who works at The Countess just wants to do the best they can for our patients and it’s our job to support them in driving improvements and embedding a continuous improvement culture.”

Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development Alyson Hall said: Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development Alyson Hall said: “I am delighted for Deborah that she has become our latest Countess Gem. She thoroughly deserves this award and the nominations show just how highly regarded she is by colleagues. Congratulations Deborah.”

About Countess Gems

‘Countess Gems’ are a monthly recognition awards scheme at the Countess of Chester Hospital, with members of staff nominating colleagues who they think deserve special praise. Every person/team nominated officially becomes a ‘Countess Gem’ with a certificate. Once a month the leadership group reviews all the nominations and selects an overall winner. This team/individual will then receive £125 to spend with in-house Catering Services to celebrate. The Countess Gems awards are funded through donations from patients and families in thanks for the care they have received (charitable funds).