The scheme is among the first projects as part of our Trust Improvement Programme. Alongside discussions with ward sisters, matrons and associate directors of nursing to decide how it will be set up at RCHT, nominations are being sought for the first wards to pilot the scheme before it is rolled out across all three hospitals.
Ward accreditation schemes have been shown to promote safer patient care in organisations, by motivating staff and sharing best practice between ward areas. They aim to promote better health outcomes, better patient experience and ensure the wards and departments are a better place to work, train and learn.
Berni George (pictured centre in conversation with colleagues discussing ward accreditation) has joined RCHT as Safety & Quality Improvement Programme Director, on secondment as part of ‘buddy’ initiative with Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation Trust. Berni says, “I have been involved in ward accreditation schemes for seven years, it’s phenomenal. It drives real pride between wards. If areas are struggling, it’s about a supportive approach; people knowing how they are doing and then encouraging ownership of what needs to be done to get better in a continuous improvement approach.
“To get to gold can be quite tough, but when wards get there, there’s the most amazing feeling which is celebrated by the ward and rewarded by others in the organisation as well”
RCHT is to develop a system that will provide ward to board reporting of quality focused key performance indicators (KPI’s) and then enable an objective peer review process for each individual ward to apply for Ward Accreditation status.
RCHT’s two main aims are:
- TTo improve the basic standards and quality of care at ward level and reduce variation in standards between wards
- Increase staff pride within their ward areas
Ward accreditation is about looking at best practice and how we can adopt and adapt that to work well for RCHT. It offers a supportive approach to assessing how people are doing, but then establishing local ownership to drive improvement. It also reduces the burden of additional audit processes for ward sisters and ward matrons.
Ward accreditation systems often have a reward system: gold, silver and bronze status for example, so it is all about celebrating good practice – identifying what’s working well, but also providing an overview of areas for improvement. Once this information has been gathered, teams will then develop an action plan, to be monitored through the governance/performance framework of the organisation.
Initial clinical conversations are underway to develop an RCHT prototype for testing by the 1st March 2018, and then over the next six months all wards will have gone through the Accreditation Scheme. Berni will be leading the launch of the scheme and will be visiting and talking to clinical staff to make sure she can provide the very best support. Berni will be with us for at least the next six months, working closely with Chief Nurse, Kim O’Keeffe.
“I am really excited to be getting ward accreditation underway at RCHT. It will support better ward to board conversation and understanding, simplifying our assessment processes and providing transparency for staff and patients.”