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Innovative scheme to free up nurse time to be be expanded

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A scheme that encourages nurses to think of ways to cut paperwork and spend more time with patients is to be launched nationally, the government has announced.

Health secretary Alan Johnson announced last week that £50m would be released to support roll-out of the Productive Ward programme nationally.

Designed and piloted by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, the programme allows nurses to make small changes to improve the way their ward is run by analysing the way they work.

So far 80% of trusts have signed up to the initiative, but only two are currently using it in all of their hospitals.

Examples of the programme include redesigning the meal ordering process with catering staff to reduce wastage, and introducing red tabards for nurses administering medicines so they are not disturbed.

‘The great factor in this work is that it is developed by the people delivering the service,’ said Professor Bernard Crump, chief executive of the NHS Institute.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • A similar scheme for community nurses using electronic recording systems would also be useful.

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