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Nurses asked for ideas to improve quality and safety in care homes


Nurses are being asked for ideas on how to improve patient care and working conditions in care homes, as part of a new programme of work by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

The institute developed the “productive ward”, launched in 2009, and other similar programmes across a range of healthcare settings. It has now turned its attention to the care home sector – including residential and nursing homes for older people, those for people with learning disabilities and hospices.  

Work started on the Care Homes Programme this month. It has four main aims: to improve quality, safety, resident and staff experience, and partnership working between care homes and other health and social care organisations.

The programme is being led by Liz Ward and Sophie Cowley. In a letter to Nursing Times this week, they have called on nurses to help them develop it.

They write: “Given the complex nature of delivering effective care to vulnerable people, the NHS institute would like to hear about your experiences and stories on what work has already been done and is currently happening to improve care homes.”

Nurses can submit their ideas and stories at

  • The Care Quality Commission last week published 12 reports from an inspection programme of 150 care facilities for people with learning disabilities. Moderate concerns were identified at five of the sites on whether patients experienced safe and appropriate care or were protected from abuse.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Go back to the old training - every nurse spent time on the elderly care wards in each of the three years of training. We have students in their third year who have not done any elderly care nursing and recently I had a student heading towards the end of their training with no real experience of acute nursing.

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  • How can the NHS compare practice in Care Home ewnvironment? The majority of elderly who experience carein NHS environment have far more negative responses compared to their responses in the care home environment. Elderly care in the NHS itself needs to be reviewed and lessons learned first. NHS nurses have very limited abilities in dealing with elderly cognitive issues and even less in dealing with those with any form of dementia diagnosis. Incidence of fallsand or ASP issues in NHS environment is more of a problem than in the care home environment.

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  • Part of the problem could be that the CQC do not inspect NHS!!!

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