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#NurChat – Is David Cameron trying to lead a culture change in the NHS?

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Did you miss the latest #NurChat twitter debate about the PM’s recent statements? Let us sum it up for you …

In early January, Prime Minister David Cameron made a statement about nursing. In it he announced the creation of a Nursing Quality Forum and advocated the use of hourly nursing rounds, strong leadership on wards and less bureaucracy to help raise standards of care. This statement ‘hit’ the headlines and in the days following, Twitter was very much alight with opinion and views about what Cameron had said. This is why NurChat took the unusual step of changing the proposed chat in order to talk about this statement in order to give the nursing community an opportunity to share their thoughts on David Cameron’s announcements.

Cameron’s statement had covered several themes and this NurChat addressed them all but due to the sheer amount of thoughts and ideas thst were offered this blog will focus on the main themes. A full transcript can be found on the NurChat blog.

One of the main themes that NurChatters discussed was hourly rounding. Opinions about hourly rounding were varied; @nursefriendly tweeted “we know that if we had proper staffing that allowed for hourly rounding #patient outcomes would improve.”

Concerns were raised about the cost implications; @dgfoord tweeted “what is the evidence base and cost effectiveness of hourly rounds on experience and outcome for patients?”

NurChatters went onto discuss patients needs and hourly rounding; @PhilipRABall asked “Are we taking away the individualised care by strict hourly rounds?” and went on to say “Some patients won’t need hourly rounds, some need constant presence of multiple staff.”

A point was also raised that hourly rounding on a ward would take longer than an hour to go around just once when @alabcien stated “Hrly rounds to a 26 bed ward will be longer than an hour.”

The NurChat then moved on to discuss Cameron’s “red tape challenge” to release time to care. NurChat asked if participants felt that this was realistic? Some people felt that a lot of paperwork could be done at the bedside in order to be visible to patients; @amnerisuk tweeted “Patient related paperwork can be done in the patients own room.”

Some felt that better use of technology would help; @PhilipRABall said “red tape can be reduced by smarter working with IT assistance in all areas, tho needs investment” and @dgfoord agreed by tweeting “better use of technology and freeing staff to innovate locally would make this more realistic.”

The productive ward programme was also mentioned as a good way to release time to care; @ChiefExecCWPT tweeted “Productive ward prog really does help ward teams decide how to create more time to care. Some fab work by our teams.”

NurChatters also looked at the PM’s Nursing Quality Forum: some felt that a committee was not needed; @nursefriendly stated: “Do you really need another committee to establish what we already know? More #nurses = better outcomes.”

Some NurChatters felt that change needed to come from strong leaders; @maria101 said “Surely the profession should take the lead? We know what we need to do but not stepped up to the mark adequately.”

Other participants’ felt that this committee would only repeat what other committees have done; @PhilipRABall tweeted “The new forum will only serve to repeat the last PM’s Nursing Commission and looks like the govt do something.”

The debate then turned to leadership, it was asked if the NHS culture empowered good leadership and agreed that each NHS trust was different. Then, @ChiefExecCWPT stated: “Not sure there is an NHS organisational culture. Leaders in each org responsible for culture.”

Whilst reflecting on this statement I had a ‘light-bulb moment’; maybe this is what Cameron is setting out to change with his statement? For the NHS as a whole to have a strong caring culture that eminates from the top to the bottom. Maybe by stepping forward, Cameron is demonstrating that culture starts at the very top with the Prime Minister himself. These thoughts were then compounded when NurChatters then suggested that we should all take the lead, and NHS culture was our challenge. So maybe each and everyone one of us should step up to the mark - from the Prime Minister to the Staff Nurse - and we should all lead the way in caring for our NHS?

@justgracephiri summed it up by tweeting: “I feel that if every nurse strives to be a better nurse this can bring pt care to a whole new better level #teamwork.”

Teresa Chinn heads up NurChat for Newcross Healthcare Solutions - Nurchat is a fortnightly twitter chat for nurses exploring different topics that vary enormously.Anyone can suggest a NurChat discussion subject simply by tweeting @NurChat or by visiting the NurChat blog

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