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Taking action on urology

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Rachel Leaver, BSc (Hons) Health Studies, RN.

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Continent Urinary Diversions, University College Hospitals NHS Trust, London; and Council Member, British Association of Urological Nurses


The Modernisation Agency was created to help local staff across the service make radical and sustainable changes in care provision. It is dedicated to service improvement and leadership development by focusing on improving the general leadership and management of the NHS. Ultimately the result will be the improvement of the patient's experience by providing top-class support for clinical teams and managers across the service.

The Modernisation Agency is targeting specific areas through its 'Action On' programmes. Specifically these look at existing services and resources with a view to redesigning the NHS around its patients and focusing on their needs. The programmes are devoted to developing excellence across the board regardless of where the patients live, providing well-organised and effective care based on up-to-date evidence. Each programme focuses on developing modes of excellence by seeking out leading-edge practice that can be highlighted and supported and eventually spread throughout the NHS.

The Modernisation Agency has created three new Action On programmes this year and, happily, urology is one of the areas that is now going to be targeted. Action On Urology is supported by the British Association of Urology Surgeons (BAUS) and Urological Nurses (BAUN).

A shortlist of 50 sites will be chosen out of the 123 trusts that bid for consideration to become one of the 15 national demonstration sites where the Action On pilot projects will be based. Gilmour Frew has been appointed as programme manager. He is a nurse and has worked as regional facilitator of the Cancer Services Collaborative and worked with the Orthopaedic Speciality Partnership in South Wales before taking up this post. It is recognised that urology is run flexibly with both cancer and non-cancer work. This is why the work of Action on Urology and the Cancer Care Collaborative will be co-ordinated and the programme manager will report to both organisations.

Each pilot will run for two years and will review the way services are currently run and where improvements can be made. They will examine innovative working practices, looking at new ways of working by extending the boundaries of best practice and sharing this throughout the service. The programme will also help trusts to access existing as well as new resources and use them in the most effective way.

The first Modernisation Conference by the Action On Urology Group is due to be held on 12 September 2003 and is designed to offer urology departments practical advice on the resources they can draw on to help improve patients' experiences of urology care.

Nurses are at the forefront of these changes. As the papers in this edition show, auditing practice and altering service provision to reflect patients' choice and ease their journey through the system is exactly in line with the work of the Modernisation Agency and Action On Urology. Nurses at all levels in urology have the opportunity to highlight areas they feel need improving, have their ideas listened to and, hopefully, receive the resources and support to develop and implement them.

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Information has been taken from the NHS Modernisation website at:
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