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Troubled trust turns to nursing quality framework

Nurses and midwives at a struggling foundation trust in the North West are being encouraged to join a nationwide nurse-led approach to drive up standards and maintain excellence in care for patients.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, which has borne the brunt of much negative publicity over the last few months, is set to embrace the Energise for Excellence quality framework.

As reported by Nursing Times in February, nurses and midwives there were being pushed to “breaking point” and patients exposed to “significant risks”. Three separate independent reports gave damning reviews of its maternity services, management of outpatients’ appointments and governance.

The trust appointed a new chair and interim chief executive in March and a new medical director in April.  

Energise for Excellence is a quality framework for nursing and midwifery, which brings together key elements known to impact on patient care, such as staffing, methods for improvement, measurements to demonstrate good patient outcomes and staff experience.

Developed by senior nurses, the framework is intended to encourage nursing staff to share knowledge with their peers at a local and national level.

Thousands of nurses and midwives have already signed up to support the initiative, following a call to action highlighted by NHS North of England and NHS Midlands and East.

As a priority, senior nurses at Morecambe Bay have chosen to use the framework to try and raise standards in nutrition and hydration, and to reduce potential risk to patients from pressure ulcers, falls and incidence of harm.

Jackie Holt, director of nursing at Morecambe Bay, said: “E4E underlines the dedication and commitment of the nursing profession to nurse-led care quality improvement.

“We want to maximise their influence in improving patient experiences, quality of care and safety, and increasing pride and confidence in the profession.”

She added: “We are investing in our staff to ensure we have a nursing and midwifery workforce of the highest calibre for the future.”

Pictured (from left to right) UHMBT ward manager Anne Ryder, clinical leader Sarah Hammond and staff nurse Laura Welsh who have all signed up for the E4E initiative.

Readers' comments (8)

  • I thought the problem was one of "significant risks" due to nurses being at "breaking point"? How about reducing the workload? Or employing more staff? When you run your staff and ward into the ground, expect problems. Presumably it was senior staff who instigated/enforced the regime that caused the chaos in the first place.

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  • Morecambe Bay is in the North West, not North East.

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  • Anonymous | 8-May-2012 1:45 pm

    Morecambe Bay is in the North West, not North East


    Beat me to it, and an all to common theme. Lazy journalism once again. Where is the editor?

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  • Yet another framework to resolve the problems of poor nursing care. When the profession alowed the government to throw out a strong nursing management structure, it has been all downhill.

    I get tired of hearing people criticise basic nursing care. The nursing profession is so advances these days that what the patient really wants when they are ill, is no longer available to them.

    The other day l read a report about nursing staff giving a premature baby an overdose of morphine which had been prescribed by the medical officer. The response of the senior manager was, "they did initially challenge the dose, but when the junior doctor said it was ok, they went ahead and gave it".

    In my day, if we had any doubts, and they should have, then we would have contacted the consultant or pharmacy to double check.

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  • I work in a Trust with staff who are breaking point. We have seconded managers who are supporting change driven from the 'shop floor' and taken to senior management levels.
    This has improved productivity, stress levels have reduced and a better working conditions.
    Senior managers are supportive of changes, as it reduces risk, cost effective and motivational - Win! Win!
    The scary bit is building up trust and cooperation at all levels.

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  • Anonymous | 8-May-2012 4:58 pm

    "The scary bit is building up trust and cooperation at all levels."

    Why should it be scary? How is it that communicating with fellow professionals is so traumatic? What is so wrong with your leaders that you fear them? Building trust, why, are you/your bosses in the habit of lying?

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  • Together you stand divided you fall.

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  • I am tired of hearing of new ways to encourage nursing staff to share knowledge, raise standards, improve confidence, quality of care (nice familar words).
    Nursing has always been about common sense with welcome learnig through training, studying and experience.
    What we do need as every one on this planet with common sense knows, is more staff on the wards, so someone will be physically there to turn the patients who need turning, so someone will physically be there to give the patients frequent drinks and help with their meals, so some one will physically be there to help the patient to the toilet so they don't fall when they try themselves to get to the toilet without help, so someome will physically be there to reasure the patient.
    We also need good, fair and strong (not bullying) ward management.

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