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Productive ward frees up half a million hours of nurses time


Implementing the productive ward model at acute trusts across London has freed up more than half a million additional hours of nurses’ time to dedicate to direct patient care.

Research from NHS London shows that in the first 12 per cent of London’s hospitals to sign up to the scheme, more than 500,000 extra hours have been released, meaning that ward staff now spend around 13 per cent more time giving direct patient care than in 2007-08.

London’s strategic health authority has invested £10m to run the series of productive schemes - launched by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement in January 2008 - in 49 hospital trusts, community and mental health settings across London.

NHS London’s chief nurse, Trish Morris-Thompson, said the “fantastic initiative” has given nurses significantly more time to spend with patients.

“This scheme supports frontline staff in making sure they have time to care for patients, and because of this there is now a real momentum in London to enhance the care experienced by patients and transform the experience of being a nurse,” she said.


Readers' comments (6)

  • I'd be curious to see how they've achieved this, and whether the extra hours freed are taken as an average from across those trusts? When I think of the number of hours that I've spent looking for equipment, medication, notes, chasing up doctors... I wonder how exactly they've managed to create productive wards - have they managed to change the way that all health professionals work or just ward-based staff?

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  • Can someone please explain what this initiative actually is and how it works? I'm in favour of any initiative that genuinely gives us more time with patients.

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  • Productive Ward is an initiative which takes some of its principles from Industry (lean and six sigma) Not to be mixed up with Time and Motion studies, it relies on grass roots participation on a wide scale, where decisions about change come from frontline staff rather than as has been the case in the past where changes have been dictated from on high. The structure of Productive Ward begins withthe groundwork of gathering information about the ward, through surveys and audits, and gradually builds on what is found out. The work is very specific to each environment, and is 'owned' by the staff on the ward. There are a number of sharing events going on and it would be worth going onto The Institutes site: and go to 'productives' and there you will find news and events.

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  • who is claire garrison?and she still hasnt made it clear what the productive ward model is,or does!

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  • I'm a Registered Nurse newly appointed as Productive Ward facilitator in my ward. Sorry my entry didn't help, It is a huge topic to attempt to describe. Perhaps try the Institute website as mentioned above, and go to 'video documentaries'.

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  • Thank you Claire for your help!

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