Staff at a hospital in Watford are trialling a new badge that shows other professionals, patients and relatives they are the “nurse in charge”.
The 10-ward medical division at Watford General Hospital, run by West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust, started testing the badge last week.
“I definitely think from the feedback we’ve had that we will be rolling it out”
Already the feedback has been extremely positive, said medical division matron Gabrielle Leyshon, who said the badges gave both patients and staff confidence.
She said the move followed a Care Quality Commission visit, which flagged up the fact it was hard to tell who was in charge of each ward.
“It was highlighted during our CQC visit that people entering the wards didn’t have a visual aid to say who was in charge,” she told Nursing Times. “So we started trialling this new badge – the nurse in charge – for a month and we’ve had some fantastic feedback so far.
“The doctors know who’s in charge of the ward, so they can walk up and handover and can be confident they’re speaking to the right person,” she said. “If the bed management team have any questions about the management of the ward they know who to ask.
Ms Leyshon added: “And it’s quite a confidence booster for relatives to be able to walk in and say ‘oh that’s the nurse in charge, that’s the person I need to see’.”
She said the badge provided clarity for nursing staff, patients, relatives and members of the multi-disciplinary team, as well as giving the nurse wearing the badge added authority.
“Usually people think that the sister is in charge of the ward but not always, because when we’re developing staff like band 6s we ask them to take charge,” she added.
If the pilot continues to go well the “nurse in charge” badges will be rolled out across the trust. “I definitely think from the feedback we’ve had that we will be rolling it out,” said Ms Leyshon.