Productive Community Hospital Programme launched at Savernake

Posted: January 24, 2012

Hospital wards join forces to improve patient care

Nursing staff in Wiltshire's community hospitals will soon be able to spend more time on direct patient care thanks to the launch of a new improvement programme.

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is supporting community hospitals in Wiltshire with implementing the Productive Community Hospital Project. This is an improvement programme with practical tools to help clinical teams maximise the potential of the services in a community hospital setting.

The aim of the project is to help community teams identify where time can be saved and to reinvest that time into direct patient care.  The programme has nine modules looking at all aspects of the ward environment, including admission and discharge, managing drug administration and multidisciplinary team working.

Karen Braid, Productive Ward Project Lead at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:  "Working through the modules allows the Ward Manager and their teams to identify where time is being spent, to look at it objectively, streamline and use that time more effectively, therefore freeing up more time to spend on direct patient care."

The project is being launched on Ailesbury Ward in Savernake Hospital, which will be twinned with Aldbourne Ward at GWH.  The wards in the community hospitals will be twinned with a ward at GWH to share expertise and collaborative working.

Karen continues:  "Staff from Ailesbury ward recently came over to Aldbourne to see how the programme has been implemented at GWH and were very positive about it.  Twinning the wards is a great opportunity for us to share learning and it gives us a point of contact for each other."

The project is part of the Productive Ward Programme, a national initiative from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, which found that nationally nurses were spending on average 40% of their time on direct patient care.

At GWH the Productive Ward Programme has gone from strength to strength since it was launched back in 2009.  All 21 wards are at various stages of implementing it which is a significant achievement for the Trust.

Some wards, such as the Children's Unit, have doubled the percentage of time spent with patients.  Saturn Ward saved 114 hours per year by simply re-organising their linen trolleys, the equivalent of a full-time nurse working for three weeks.   Jupiter Ward saved 112 hours by moving where their storage of fluid was; and by reviewing their medicines management, Woodpecker Ward reduced the time they spent searching for drugs which had previously equated to 20 days a year. 

The programme has been enthusiastically received by nursing staff around the Trust who are delighted with how it has helped improve processes and efficiency. 

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