Health service welcomes PM plans

David Cameron
David Cameron
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COMMUNITY health services in Derbyshire have welcomed announcements made by The Prime Minister about improvements which must be made to nursing care - and have stated they are leading the way in providing some of the best nursing care in the country.

David Cameron has made four pledges to ensure that all hospitals in England are providing patient care to the best possible standard:

* Ensuring nurses spend as much time as possible by cutting out paperwork and bureaucracy wherever possible

* Ensuring nurses conduct regular ward rounds to ensure patients’ basic needs are being met, especially around nutrition and dignity

* Ensuring there is clear leadership on each ward, whether that person is called a Matron, Ward Sister or Team Leader, who is accountable for the care which is provided by their team

* Replacing existing inspections of hospitals with new, patient-led reviews the results of which NHS providers will be obliged to publish.

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (DCHS), which provides NHS care in hospitals, in people’s homes and in other community settings across Derbyshire, has taken steps over the last three years to further improve current high standards of nursing care and therapy.

Kath Henderson, director of quality and chief nurse at DCHS said: “We pride ourselves on the excellent care we provide to our patients and are always looking for ways to continue to improve. Much of what the Prime Minster has said is already being provided and further refined and developed by nursing teams in our community hospitals across Derbyshire, and we are set to transfer those developments to the community setting to reduce risk to patients even further. We will never rest on our laurels and look forward to seeing further guidance following the PM’s announcement.”

In the last two years, Derbyshire Community Health Services’ staff:

Introduced the Safety Express programme ahead of most other NHS organisations in England, aiming to reduce harm from such things as falls, pressure ulcers, catheter acquired urinary tract infections and blood clots, wining a Safety Express Coalition Summit Award in October 2011.

Implemented the Releasing Time to Care programme on most hospital wards, with staff saving hours of wasted effort by making small changes to the way wards are physically organised and care is delivered to free up more time to spend with patients.

Achieved excellent or very good ratings across all wards from the current Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) reviews, which look at the standards of food, cleanliness and patient privacy and dignity

Achieved excellent PEAT ratings at all hospitals for the standard of food provided to patients

Have already ensured each patient receives regular checks during the day and night, to see that their needs are met, and that patients and their carers are provided with appropriate information to keep patients safe on discharge from hospital.

Mrs Henderson continued: “We take great pride in the quality of care we provide to our patients. As a result we’re working at a regional and national level helping to develop and implement some of the programmes the Prime Minister has referred to. One example is a DVD we’re developing which will help nurses make the most of their contact with patients during ward rounds. It will help them take full opportunity day-to-day of making sure that what a patient really needs – whether that’s a drink, a trip to the toilet or handing them their bedside novel - are not missed, through simple conversation. This will also encourage patients and their carers to be more proactive in their care.

“Our lead role in developing Safety Express has already led to two national awards, but we will continue to look for new ways to further improve the experience and the outcomes for our patients.”