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Productive Ward: A bumpy ride, but well worth it


In the first of a new series, Suzanne Turner talks about getting started on the Productive Ward programme

Who am I?

I’ve been a registered nurse for the past 15 years. I have moved about a bit - around the country and also in different fields of nursing. My main background always was surgical nursing, but in 2001 I made the decision to go into the area of nursing I had always wanted to do – hence I am now a renal nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals – City Hospital site. Now that IS a mouthful.

I became a ward sister in 2004 – on the renal high dependency and transplant ward. In 2008, I moved to the nephrology ward – Bramley Ward (as a result of job re-structuring – boy that was a process and a half!) and have been there ever since.

Why am I blogging?

About eight weeks ago, I was contacted by one of our Deputy Director’s of Nursing, Kerry Bloodworth, who is the hospital lead for the Productive Ward Programme. You may have read her articles in the Nursing Times, if not – they are well worth a read as they will give you plenty of background information on the programme itself. She is a very difficult lady to say no to – so when she and Laura Gascoigne (lead nurse for the Productive Ward) asked me to think about writing a blog about my experiences in trying to assimilate the productive ward programme into my area – I thought, why not?

We haven’t had the smoothest ride with implementing this programme in my area and if this forum can be used either to give some tips and tricks we’ve learnt along the way – or to answer questions you may have, it will be worth it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pick some tips up from you too and we can share them together.

One advantage of having the back-up we have for the productive ward in our trust (from the chief exec (Peter Homa) down), is that there is always someone more experienced to turn to for help. If I don’t know the answer to something, I usually know who to call on whom either will – or will know where to find the answers.

What will I be blogging about?

My blog will be about the trials, tribulations and (hopefully) successes that we have experienced whilst implementing the Productive Ward Programme in our area. It hasn’t been a completely smooth ride and perhaps we aren’t as far through the programme as I would have hoped a year down the line. BUT, with some of the issues we’ve faced as a new team and with some of the inherent problems we’ve dealt with in an area that was struggling to ‘survive’, all-in-all I am very proud of the changes our team has made. And ecstatic with the different experience that our patients now receive within our care.

In some respects – I should be an ‘old hand’ at the productive ward process, but in others – I am still very much learning too. I’d be lying if I said that it was easy, I’d also be lying if I tried to tell you that we are the ‘best’ at implementing the productive ward programme – we aren’t. There are better models within my own trust that would show a much smoother progression through this process. But, through it all, the benefits that this programme has given to my patients, my staff and myself far outweighs (in my mind anyway) the ups and downs of implementing such a far reaching programme.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Hi Suzanne
    I am a sister on an emergency assessment unit and like you have been the productive ward lead for a year now.This programme has given us time to do what we all knew needed to be done. Yes there are plenty of ups and downs but the empowerment and ownership it gives to all staff in improving patient care is fantastic. The time savings that are made can be small but usually they make the most difference in releasing time to care.
    Having the patients involved through our patient satisfaction questionnaires lets them know how important their care and experience is to us.
    Can't wait to read your next blog.

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  • Hi Suzanne,
    I am fortunate to be working for a PCT with a supportive Executive Team, and some enthusiastic staff, and so far though progress is slower than we'd hoped, the two wards which launched in September have made good progress - though we need to be able to demonstrate this better really. We are already making plans to work with three more - however I think the timescales of rolling them out every two months appears over-ambitious?
    Our 'challenges' have been around wards saying they haven't enough time in the first place to look at ways of analysing their wasted time? Which leaves us with a quandry...especially as we know having visited a successful local(ish) organisation, that if they can find time to invest they will reap the benefits.
    If London can save 1 milion hours it would be good to think that the 'second city' could try and match it?

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