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Nurse student initiative slashes waiting times

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Student nurses in the Midlands have helped devise improvements that have cut hospital waiting times for toenail surgery by two-thirds.

The joint scheme, between Derby University and NHS organisations across Derbyshire, involved nursing students suggesting new ways to improve patient care in a series of healthcare settings.

Around 30 students in the final year of their advanced nursing diploma went to various placements as part of the project. Four visited Derbyshire County PCT’s Walton Hospital in Chesterfield to study an outpatient clinic caring for patients with ingrowing toenails.

They were asked to come up with suggestions on how to streamline outpatients care, reduce waiting times and, as a result, the risk of healthcare-associated infections.

The students met hospital managers and staff, before making a number of recommendations such as improved communication between podiatrists and GPs, and introducing a central system to log calls to improve turnaround times for blood samples. As a result of some of the students’ ideas being implemented, waiting times for toenail surgery have been cut from three weeks to one.

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