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First private hospital in UK to launch bid for Magnet nursing status

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An independent sector provider in Essex is hoping to become the first private hospital in the UK to gain a prestigious global stamp of approval for outstanding nursing practice.

The Holly Private Hospital has launched a bid to gain Magnet status – a quality mark granted by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center, an affiliate of the American Nurses’ Association.

“Magnet is about achieving a consistently excellent quality of nursing care”

Lorraine Kelly

Its nursing director, Lorraine Kelly, said the hospital was seeking Magnet recognition because it was “the highest international distinction a healthcare organisation can receive for nursing excellence”.

To achieve accreditation, an organisation has to meet a series of standards which include those on safe staffing policies, training levels and around nurse-sensitive clinical indicators.

In other countries the scheme has helped improved nurse recruitment and retention with a recent study also suggesting Magnet hospitals were associated with lower mortality rates after surgery.

Other UK hospitals have already starting working towards the award, but the Holly is currently the first and only private hospital to have formally embarked on the programme.

Ms Kelly said staff had been working towards accreditation for 12 months, but it was likely to take several years to achieve the quality mark and the goal was to gain Magnet status in 2020.

“Magnet is about achieving a consistently excellent quality of nursing care across all of the clinical services we provide,” she said.

“It is about ensuring that our patients always receive nursing care that is safe, well-led, effective, responsive and caring, based upon research evidence,” said Ms Kelly, who was short-listed in the Nurse Leader of the Year category at the 2017 Nursing Times Awards.

Holly Private Hospital

First private hospital in UK to launch bid for Magnet nursing status

She added: “It not only benefits our patients but also our staff as it is about creating an environment where nursing staff are given the freedom, space and time to think about the quality of nursing care they provide, and the autonomy to make changes to the way things are done based on their experience, expertise and judgement.”

Hospital director David Henderson said the scheme provided opportunities to “truly empower our nurses and midwives to provide outstanding patient care”.

“It complements our drive to maximise opportunities for nurse training and workplace development, enabling to work to their full potential,” he said.

The hospital in Buckhurst Hill is being supported by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is hosting the programme in the UK on behalf of NHS England and is aiming for Magnet status itself.

As previously reported by Nursing Times, other NHS organisations are also currently working towards Magnet status. These include South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes, Magnet programme director at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “Countless pieces of research demonstrate the benefits of Magnet recognition.”

He said: “Being the first and only private hospital in the UK to be formally working towards Magnet recognition sets the Holly apart and demonstrates its commitment to clinical excellence.”

The Holly, which is run by Aspen Healthcare, has five theatres, including an endoscopy suite, 42 beds and 23 outpatient consulting rooms.

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