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West Sussex nurses commended for work on Productive Ward

Nurses at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust have adopted the Productive Ward programme across all wards and been commended by regulators for their work on the initiative.

Matron Jackie Hole, who has been leading the national programme for the trust, gave a report to the trust’s board in April highlighting progress.

She told the board: “Implementation included the introduction of protected meal times, monitoring of infection rates, high impact interventions, clinical outcomes, clinical incidents and near misses etc and staffing outcomes. This had been observed and commended by a recent Care Quality Commission’s unannounced visit.”

The board also noted that this information was available by “ward, division and trust-level dashboards”. Separate dashboards have been set up for accident and emergency, and the women and children’s unit. One for maternity services is being developed.

The report states: “The board noted that all wards had adopted the Productive Ward system. There was a positive approach to take-up of the programme because staff could see the benefits to be realised through it.”

The trust is currently looking at developing a “charter mark” system for rewarding wards that achieve certain targets, and how to refine its dashboards as a means of monitoring quality of care.

The report says: “The board discussed the way in which wards addressed areas for improvement identified through the dashboards.

“The information collected via the programme was rated, using a ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ (RAG) methodology. Areas of ‘red’ reporting were escalated to the matrons and senior staff as appropriate.

“It was also noted that the staff working in wards completed the audits but to ensure a robust, consistent approach spot checks are undertaken. It was suggested that wards could be subject to peer review, to provide added assurance as to the robustness of monitoring and data collection.”

The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement officially launched the Releasing Time to Care: Productive Ward programme at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual congress in 2007.

Readers' comments (6)

  • why is this news.
    arnt all wards doing the same?
    we did in the eighties(last time i worked in the late departed NHS).?
    yea gods,every body had protected meal times,and first class care-evidenced,thought out and delivered by professionals.
    mind you we didnt have the problem of many years uni learning to forget,or the gap between supernummary and work to overcome.
    we knew that there were 3 ways to do things
    1-the college way-theory.
    2-the clinical tutor way-best practice
    3-the ward way-reality and effective.
    and dont start on the evidence lie-we have always used evidence.
    its just that we didnt need big pharma or pressure groups biased so called facts to lead us

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  • Adrian Bolt

    If the productive ward thought police at my Trust get hold of this I am likely to be subject to an intense program of political re-education including the NHS equivalent of water boarding before being burned at the stake as a heretic. But am I the only person who thinks that this initiative (productive ward syndrome) is a complete and utter load of B****cks?

    “She told the board: “Implementation included the introduction of protected meal times, monitoring of infection rates, high impact interventions, clinical outcomes, clinical incidents and near misses etc and staffing outcomes”

    All of which should have been and probably was being done prior to the implementation to this particularly egregiously meaningless piece of window dressing.

    We unveiled this policy, or rather its bastard son, “Productive community team, releasing time to care (the sequel)” to great applause in our Trust recently. The net impact of the initiative was we tidied the office, rewrote the white board (legibly) with the patient’s details and tidied up the clinic room drug cupboard.

    The net impact of the initiative on what we do and how we do it? Nothing, zilch. Nada, sod all. The office is as big a mess as it always was, the board is its usual illegible self only the clinic room has not reverted to its former self and that is because no one uses it now that all the equipment we used to store there has been removed. If the trust really wanted to release time to care they would give the ridiculous woman who comes round our office wasting our time with this nonsense a proper job.

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  • Anonymous | 25-May-2011 4:21 am

    Whaler Linden | 25-May-2011 8:09 am

    So well said!

    I could spit when I read this type of article. In this time of crippling cuts, how much money is going down the toilet with this 'initiative'? As for the CQC? A pointless, ineffectual waste of dosh.

    "....It was also noted that the staff working in wards completed the audits but to ensure a robust, consistent approach spot checks are undertaken.".........Oh yeah, 'releasing time to care' my a***e!! Who was looking after the patients whilst the staff were filling in yet more paperwork, and being subjected to the pressure of spot checks?

    Nurses know how to nurse. Let us get on with it. Ensure that our workplaces are adequately staffed and resourced. Listen to what we say.....we really are quite smart and arguably the NHS's greatest resource. Stop hammering into our term and conditions, and leave our pensions alone. If you don't, Mr.Cameron, Mr. Lanseley et al; we might just take you on.



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  • Adrian Bolt

    What exactly is a "high impact" intervention?

    Is it when I finally loose my rag with this nonsense and end up venting my anger and frustration on those twerps at the NHS centre for innovation and silly walks who thought up this rubbish in the first place with a blunt instrument?

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  • I'm afraid it's the NHS all over these days - all spin and no substance. Still it helps to try and keep the public fooled.

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  • If the NHS focused on allowing staff to do their job, ie; nursing the patient, assessing their care needs, planning with them and implementing that care and recording it. Not rushing the patient according to the budget attached to them and reducing them to a cash based commodity whom is subjected to achieving a star rating for their trust.

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