Nursing has felt like it’s been under siege of late.
And according to some, the best way of showcasing the profession’s high standards, and the improvements it is making, is complete transparency about what exactly is going right – and what is going wrong.
Eight hospitals in the north west last week published their incidences of falls that resulted in moderate or severe harm to the patient and their numbers of grade 2, 3 and 4 pressure ulcers. It’s brave to put your head above the parapet and publish these figures every month. But Jane Cummings and the team at Energise for Excellence, which is encouraging all hospitals nationally to do the same, think it’s the only way to show that nursing is seriously committed to raising the standards of care. And it will not be data collection for data collection’s sake, the benchmarks will be published with a commentary so staff can provide insight into their figures.
The nurses involved have started asking patients at their hospitals a range of questions about their experience, which shows they have already engaged in constructive discussions about how to make improvements. Staff are also being asked whether they’d recommend their department as a place to work or be cared for.
There are, of course, caveats around blame but too often, nursing is on the back foot, and it’s time nurses proclaimed publicly what the majority is getting right. Only then can nurses correct the myths made about poor performance being the norm. Only then can the profession be honest about what it is going to do about such incidences and share best practice to see standards rise. Bravo to the north west, let’s hope more follow their lead.
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