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Managers urged to support nurses in drive to make savings safely

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Managers are urged to support their nurses in a national programme intended to give the profession a major say in improving quality of care while at the same time improving efficiency – so that safety is not compromised.

The Energise for Excellence programme has been developed by nursing leaders who have set a goal of getting 200,000 nurses, midwives and health visitors to sign up to support it. They are now lobbying senior NHS managers to support the scheme. 

Nurses are being asked to commit to five actions:

  • Commit to take a specific action to make a specific change within a specific timescale
  • Use the most relevant tools
  • Measure it
  • Celebrate success
  • Tell your story to others

The programme draws together existing initiatives like productive ward and high impact actions, as well as other tools and resources, into a framework with five sections – get staffing right, deliver care, measure impact, patient experience and staff experience.  

The initiative was developed by NHS North West chief nurse Jane Cummings and Katherine Fenton, chief nurse at University College London Hospitals.

At the NHS Confederation annual conference in Manchester, they called on senior managers to support their nurses to deliver the programme.

Ms Cummings warned: “We are at the moment faced with, I think, a significant burning platform in terms of the quality and cost agenda.”

She said “celebrating success” from a service change, even on a small scale, and then spreading news of that success by “telling the story is incredibly powerful”.

A number of senior managers are already backing the programme, including Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust chief executive David Loughton, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals Foundation Trust chief executive Aidan Kehoe, and Wrightington Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust chief Andrew Foster.

Mr Loughton said it was about identifying warning signals that were overlooked at Mid Staffordshire Hospital Foundation Trust.

“We should acknowledge that an awful lot more of the things that happened at Mid Staffs also happen at most of our organisations, admittedly at a different scale. I think this a very powerful way of addressing that.”

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar also backed the programme. He said: “This is an incredibly important piece of work and something we should all be taking very, very seriously.”

Reports of poor care from the Care Quality Commission “were always very deeply disturbing and embarrassing”, he said.

“What Jane and colleagues have done with Energise for Excellence is try to apply really strong systematic approach to getting care quality at the bedside, in the wards absolutely as high as it should be. Today is about rolling that out, a call for action to other senior leaders to adopt some of the principles,” he said.

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