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Date: 26 May 2024

Time: 12:02

Care Round initiative supports patient safety

Story posted/last updated: 29 November 2012

Patients in the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham are enjoying the benefits of a new scheme which aims to tailor nursing care to their individual needs.

The Care Round initiative was introduced to all 28 inpatient wards at the hospital in March with the aim of supporting nursing on the wards.

And the latest feedback and figures show that the scheme is already making a big impact on patient care, with both a reduction in the number of patients injuring themselves due to falls and an increase in assessments for hydration and nutritional needs.

The Care Round involves hourly visits to each ward, apart from A&E and critical care, with medical staff speaking to every patient to understand their needs. As each patient has a unique set of circumstances, the hourly observation means care is tailored to suit the individual as their condition changes.

The checklist can be completed by anyone who visits the patient, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians or healthcare assistants, and involves making sure those little conveniences, such as having a book at easy reach, become part of basic care. It also triggers staff to conduct more in-depth assessments if patients are having difficulty walking or eating and drinking.

Since the Care Rounds were implemented, the number of patients being assessed within four hours for risk of falling has increased by around 69%. As a result, the number of incidents where patients have suffered harm associated with a fall, has reduced by almost 23%, with no recorded cases of major harm during July.

There has also been a significant improvement in how quickly patients are assessed for malnutrition and dehydration.

Senior clinical educator Sue Crossfield, who co-led the project with lead nurse Carolyn Pitt, said: “By bringing the focus of care back to the bedside, staff ensure that patient care is individualised, that clinical risk assessments are completed within the required timeframes and, most importantly, the patient is as happy and as comfortable as possible. After all, they need to feel that the staff are looking after them.

“The impact of Care Rounds has been very encouraging, demonstrating significant improvement in timings of patient clinical risk assessments and a reduction in harm associated with patient falls. Reinforcement of the Care Rounds in every ward area is key to continued improvement. “

Kay Fawcett, Chief Nurse at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said the initiative is already reinforcing standards and enhancing levels of patient care.

“We have outstanding staff here at UHB and this initiative has been embraced because it gives us a way of ensuring patients are being seen and cared for. Patients are at the centre of everything we do here, so this is extremely important for us and we feel it is something which will be watched closely by other trusts around the country.”

Feedback has been positive, with a number of patients commenting on the attentiveness of the nursing staff, while staff have noticed a reduction in the number of patients buzzing for attention.

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