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‘What do you think of the idea of basic rounding?’


Following the publication of the Francis report, it has become clear that the quality of patient care needs to be put at the heart of the NHS through an overhaul of health and social care services.

With hospitals striving to be the best, I feel it is important to look at the basic values of maintaining patients’ respect and dignity while in hospital and identify ways forward that would improve patient care.

Since becoming a student nurse, I have noticed that time constraints and expectations of the service are getting greater and patient care at times can suffer, although staff are constantly trying their best and delivering excellent nursing care.

I have been thinking of ways to enhance the patient experience and one way that would make basic nursing care more achievable could be basic rounding, which is a method of systematically reviewing all patients on an hourly or two-hourly basis to ensure their fundamental care needs are met.

Basic rounding is simply a tick-list that can be checked off if the patient has no problems or if there is change to their condition this can be identified and acted on straight away. Basic rounding isn’t a new concept, some trusts have already implemented this and it is known as “intentional rounding”.

So far, it has been very effective in improving patient care.

The aim of basic rounding is to improve the delivery of patient-centred care and patient experience with the use of a proforma allowing a standardised approach.

The basic rounding checklist consists of eight important factors outlining both the norm for the patient as well as any changes that may indicate a change of condition. The eight important factors include:

  • Anxieties;
  • Pain;
  • Hydration/Nutrition;
  • Eliminations;
  • Mobility/pressure areas;
  • Sleeping;
  • Call bell use;
  • Maintaining a safe environment.

There are many benefits for both patients and staff.

Patients have sometimes reported that they do not see a nurse regularly or they have been waiting a while for someone to answer their call bell, however basic rounding actually reduces call bell activity, reduces the number of falls, complaints and improves a person’s experience while in hospital.

Basic rounding also allows the patient to build up trust and gain confidence in the practitioner.

Patients feel safe in the knowledge that their care will be consistent and individualised to their own care needs and preferences.

Patients will have an overall better and safer hospital experience as basic rounding allows the patient to feel secure by increases patient contact.


What do you think of the idea of basic rounding? Do you think it would make care more effective, or would hinder nursing duties?


James Merrell is a 2nd year student nurse at Bournemouth University.

Karen Jenkins is a staff nurse at Yeovil District Hospital.



Readers' comments (5)

  • sharon down

    I think Basic rounding would enhance nursing care, and build up patient and public confidence in nurses once again. I too am a nursing student and it is really disheartening to see how nurses through lack of resources get pulled further away from spending valuable time with patients and their families. This method, used as an aid would ensure the contact that is sometimes needed, especially for those patients who do not ring their bell as 'they' do not want to bother busy nurses. Although i do feel it would have to be a team effort when checking on patients, especially while resources are low, we need to start somewhere.

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  • Alice Eveleigh

    I am torn on the introduction of intentional rounding. I think, on one hand, it can be a fantastic tool that encourages patient confidence and builds a positive relationship. But, alternatively I think it has the potential to be dismissed as an additional paper activity. The ticklisk, to me, gives an impersonal impression that can be easily rushed and overlooked. Ultimately, this needs to be seen as a basic tool and relies on the quality (and quantity) of staff. Well written James.

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  • Your final question as to whether Rounding would 'hinder nursing duties' appears strange to me. Surely ,Rounding will ensure that nursing duties are performed.
    Rounding would ensure that the fundemental aspects of nursing care are attended to. However, I believe that it would only be effective if qualified staff nurses participate and that these Rounds would not be left to Health Care Assistants, as is most basic nursing care in the Trust that I am having my Placements in. Resources would be the only downful and unless staff numbers are increased , it will be almost impossible to implement hourly Rounding.

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  • Hi Marie, I totally agree with you that rounding would benefit patients, however some nurses/health care assistants believe that due to time constraints at the moment they would not be able to carry out rounding. From some nurses and HCAs I have spoken too, they believe that rounding would take them away from other nursing duties, hence why I posed that question to see if the majority agreed.

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  • I am a student nurse and on my last placement my mentor and all the staff loathed roundings. They say it is a pointless, tick box exercise that means nothing - anyone can tick, it doesn't mean they have actually done anything. However, this was in a community hospital that wasn't manically busy so the staff would see all the patients regularly anyway. I should imagine on a very busy ward it would be very useful

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