Nurses spending more time at the bedside, improved ward environments and a significant reduction in pressure ulcers are just some of benefits patients have received thanks to the Transforming Care programme, which is being celebrated today at a special event in Cardiff.
In the two years since its launch, the programme has empowered frontline NHS staff across Wales to make changes that have improved the patient’s experience of care and the safety and quality of services in both hospitals and the community.
From pilot work on a few hospital wards, Transforming Care has spread to all health boards and trusts becoming an integral part of day-to-day work.
The programme has been developed and delivered by the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare and is a key part of 1000 Lives Plus, the national improvement programme supporting organisations and individuals to deliver the highest quality and safest healthcare for the people of Wales.
Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, said: “Transforming Care has had such a positive impact on both patients and staff alike. The focus has been on improving the quality of care delivered and ensuring a better experience for patients.
“It has enabled frontline staff to often make small, but significant changes for the benefit of their patients, leading them to spend more time at the bedside. This in turn has provided the opportunity for patients to communicate their needs, resulting in a better hospital experience and faster recovery.
”One of the most significant improvements of Transforming Care has been the redesign of systems and processes to enable nurses to spend more time directly caring for patients.Staff are now spending around one third more of their time with patients, which not only improves their care, but communication, with patients able to express their needs and be listened to, ensuring they feel less isolated and have a clearer understanding of their care.Better designed wards with appropriate and easily accessible equipment are ensuring less waste and more efficiency."
Work to reduce pressure ulcers has also been delivering great success with many hospital wards across Wales going more than a year without a single incident.
A zero tolerance approach and the implementation of a new care bundle to improve patient care have made such an impact that pressure ulcers are now seen as something to be avoided at all costs rather than an inevitable occurrence.
Patients have also benefitted from improvements in care in a number of areas including;
Fewer falls in hospitals and the community thanks to better organised wards, improved risk assessment and measures put in place to prevent falls reoccurring.
Better ward environments and communication initiatives to help patients with dementia to feel more comfortable in their surroundings.
More consistent monitoring of patients including hourly checks to ensure they receive care appropriate to their needs. This means any deterioration in their condition is picked up sooner enabling treatment to begin at an early stage.
The ethos of Transforming Care is being incorporated in other areas of healthcare, including maternity services, operating theatres, dementia care and mental health services.
It is also moving from hospital settings into the community with work to reduce pressure ulcers and falls in care homes across Wales.
Jan Davies, 1000 Lives Plus Director, said: “Transforming Care is helping healthcare staff to build the kind of NHS that we all want to work in – and more importantly, that we would all want to experience if we were patients.
“Patients and families are seeing the real benefits of the work – person-centred care, better communication, more pleasant ward environments and increased dignity for patients.”