Thursday 12 Jan 2012 @ 10:43
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Evidence of Major Improvements in Patient Care Across Wales
Hourly ward rounds by nurses to check on patients’ comfort and personal needs are among the many improvements to patient care introduced as part of the Welsh Government’s drive to improve the patient experience in Wales.
The Transforming Care initiative, being rolled out across Wales, is designed specifically to increase the amount of time nursing staff spend on direct patient care. It also covers activities to reduce pressure sores, falls on wards, and other similar incidents and includes hourly ward rounds by nurses.
The Health Minister Lesley Griffiths gave an update to the National Assembly on various initiatives in addition to Transforming Care, which address concerns raised by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales in March 2011.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“Improving the quality and safety of patient care, and delivering it with the appropriate dignity and compassion, is a goal shared by the Welsh Government and by those responsible for delivering that care, such as nurses.”“In Wales, we have been working for some time to raise the standards of care provided and I am very pleased with the results so far. Ensuring ward staff have time to spend directly caring for patients, reducing pressure sores and falls, and making sure all in-patients have protected mealtimes and the right amount of food and fluid are just some of the early developments which are becoming standard practice in Wales.”“Since March 2011, when the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales made recommendations for change, a number of further actions have been taken. We are actively monitoring implementation of action plans drawn up by every NHS organisation in Wales, which are beginning to transform patient care.”“Patient feedback is very much a part of our strategy to improve standards, along with spot checks such as those I announced in June 2011 to assess standards of dignity in care for older people in our hospitals.”
In addition to Transforming Care, initiatives underway across Wales include the Free to Lead, Free to Care programme, which empowers hospital ward sisters and charge nurses to manage their wards. One product from this programme is the Nutrition Care Pathway, which has introduced standard food and fluid charts to every in-patient area in Wales and requires organisations to protect patients at mealtimes from non urgent medical interventions.
There are national work programmes on oral health and hygiene, continence care, cleanliness standards and expansion of the Fundamentals of Care audit tool to gain more evidence from patients about their experiences. The National Dementia Vision for Wales, sets out how the Welsh Government intends to develop high quality services for people with dementia, a commitment reflected in the five-year vision for the NHS in Wales, Together for Health.