Hospitals launch improvement regime to develop quality of care on wards

Wards across Lincolnshire’s hospitals will be taking part in a new accreditation scheme, designed to drive up the quality and consistency of care provided and the experience of patients.

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The Ward Health Accreditation Metrics scheme is being introduced by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust from this month.

This is a new initiative, where wards across the Trust  will be regularly inspected by a team of independent senior nurses and assessed against a range of measures.

It is one of a range of actions being taken to improve and provide assurance from ward to board on the quality and safety of care provided in ULHT hospitals. The scheme has been adapted from a similar process created by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, which is one of the only trusts in the country rated ‘Outstanding’ for the quality of care that it provides.

ULHT has created 13 quality standards which the wards are measured against.  During an inspection of a ward, the senior nursing team will look at many areas of care including how falls and pressure ulcers are prevented on the ward, how the correct nutrition for patients is maintained, the experience of patients, the workforce in the area, infection prevention performance and the end of life care provided.

Each ward will be given a rating of Red, Amber, or Green based on how it scores in the 13 standards. The ward team will then be supported to develop and implement an improvement action plan to further enhance the quality of care and patient experience before the next ward inspection.

Deputy Chief Nurse Victoria Bagshaw said: “We are very excited about the start of this scheme because we believe it will enable us to further improve the quality of care provided across our hospitals.

“The scheme sets clear expectations in relation to the quality of care being delivered to patients consistently by trained and appropriate staff. We believe it sets ambitious but realistic goals for our wards, and will help them on a quality improvement journey.

“In other areas where similar schemes have been used, staff and patients have seen improved ward leadership, improved patient experience, reductions in avoidable patient harms and improved clinical efficiency and effectiveness. We expect the scheme to enable our ward teams to continuous improve the quality of patient care and experience by learning from each other.”

Two wards per week will be inspected across Lincoln County Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, Grantham and District Hospital and County Hospital, Louth.