Five trainee nurses have been appointed as student quality ambassadors to be fresh eyes on the quality of care across University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.
The trust, which is currently the subject of an inquiry in maternity care failings, has appointed the adult nursing students to “challenge standards of care, introduce innovative ideas and share good practice”.
“We hope staff and patients will look out for them, share experiences and bring about improvements together”
They are part of the team carrying out a trust initiative called RAISE visits – Review and Inspection of Standards for Excellence – to inspect quality and standards on wards and will also be analysing results from the Friends and Family test.
The first group of ambassadors – Zoe Wilson, Carrie Bell, Vicky Shimwell, Emma Hodgson and James Jolly – are all studying nursing at the University of Cumbria.
Ms Wilson said: “We are here to assist ward staff and to be a pro-active force to champion good practice.”
Ms Shimwell added: “We are new to the organisation so that’s an advantage as we can see what can be done differently. We can also share experiences from other areas where we have been on placement.”
Julie Pickup, a practice education facilitator at the trust, said the ambassadors would join 55 from across the North West region to develop initiatives focused on promoting care within the healthcare sector.
“All our ambassadors are innovative thinkers, easily identifiable by their purple lanyards and we hope staff and patients will look out for them, share experiences and bring about improvements together,” she said.
The student quality ambassador project was launched in 2011 and involves healthcare students from the North West of England.
There are currently around 160 ambassadors in the region, who are either training to become nurses, midwives, allied health professionals or healthcare scientists.