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Critical Analysis of the Productive Ward at an acute NHS trust

Aims and objectives. To demonstrate how a national programme aimed to
increase the amount of direct time nurses spend with patients’, impacts on both
staff and patient experience.
Background. The Productive Ward is an improvement programme developed by
the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (2007, http://www.institute.
nhs.uk/quality_and_value/productivity_series/productive_ward.html) which aims
to enable nurses to work more efficiently by reviewing process and practice, thus
releasing more time to spend on direct patient care. However, there is little empirical published research around the programme, particularly concerning impact, sustainability and the patient perspective.
Design. This manuscript presents the findings from qualitative interviews involving both staff and patients.
Methods. Semi-structured one-to-one interviews were conducted with patients
(n = 8) and staff (n = 5) on five case study wards. Seven focus groups were held
according to staff grade (n = 29).
Results. Despite initial scepticism, most staff embraced the opportunity and demonstrated genuine enthusiasm and energy for the programme. Patients were generally complimentary about their experience as an inpatient, reporting that staff made them feel safe, comfortable and cared for.
Conclusion. Findings showed that the aims of the programme were partially met.
The implementation of Productive Ward was associated with significant changes
to the ward environment and improvements for staff. The programme equipped
staff with skills and knowledge which acted as a primer for subsequent interventions.
However, there was a lack of evidence to demonstrate that Productive
Ward released time for direct patient care in all areas that implemented the
programme.
Relevance to clinical practice. Developing robust performance indicators including a system to capture reinvestment of direct care time would enable frontline staff to demonstrate impact of the programme…

 

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