Six hospital wards to find more time for patients
Last updated 11-Jun-09 13:55
Six wards at the Trust have been named as the first for implementation of new nursing practices that minimises the time nurses spend away from their patients, thus maximising the time spent on direct personal care.
The ‘Releasing Time to Care' (or RTC) project - known in NHS circles as ‘Productive Ward' - was unveiled in a special launch event on Friday 29 May at Barnet Hospital's Education Centre, where the chosen wards were announced to Trust nurses. The novel methods it uses to re-organise and prioritise nurses' workload have already been used to great effect in trusts in Nottingham and elsewhere in London, but this was the first time it has been applied to Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals. The wards selected for piloting the new procedures are:
- Beech Ward (Barnet Hospital)
- Cedar Ward (Barnet Hospital)
- Canberra Ward (Chase Farm Hospital)
- Melbourne Ward (Chase Farm Hospital)
- Durban Ward (Chase Farm Hospital)
- Chase Farm's A&E Dept. (Chase Farm Hospital)
Guests at the launch included Maureen Davies, Associate Chief Nurse for NHS London, and Anne-Marie Coiley, a ward leader at Lewisham NHS Trust where the system has already had success. She mentioned the numerous benefits.
Both speakers stressed the importance of full support from the both nurses' own colleagues and hospital management for the system to succeed, and urged patience with the results; as Mrs. Davis pointed out, the wards with the quickest results in previous trusts didn't always produce the biggest long-term gains. However, feedback from nurses in trusts already working with the system has not so far unearthed any regrets. Mrs. Davis claims all nurses she has spoken to, without exception, say they would implement it again if they had the chance.
The visiting speakers then joined a panel which included Terina Riches, Director of Nursing for the Trust, and one of the Deputy Directors, Natasha Philips, to answer questions from the audience. The ensuing discussion clarified the purpose of the project was to save nursing time rather than cut staffing costs. Earlier in the presentation, Mrs. Davis had admitted that the process would not be able to mask staffing deficiencies; rather, it would clarify any gaps in the service that could not be covered simply by working more efficiently.