Nurse Awards

Combining ‘ward rounds’ with education reduced A&E attendance

A team of nurses is improving the health of older people living in care homes through a comprehensive staff training programme and ‘ward rounds’.

Care Home Support TeamTracy Means and the Care Home Support Team. Picture credit: Jim Varney

A lack of investment in care staff training had led to poor care and a high incidence of pressure ulcers. Preventable emergency admissions were identified too.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust clinical team leader Tracy Means says: ‘We wanted to ensure residents were being cared for by the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, especially in the end of life phase.’

The team members are finalists in the Hallmark Care Homes-sponsored Nursing Older People category of the 2016 RCNi Nurse Awards.

The care home support team project focuses training in areas including falls prevention, tissue viability and pressure ulcer prevention, dementia awareness, hydration and nutrition and end of life care.

The ward round enables clinical supervision of staff, who are supported to embed the training in their practice.

As a result, there has been a huge increase in the use of advance care plans to help manage residents’ needs in their preferred place of care. Staff are detecting signs and symptoms of infections earlier and so request antibiotics earlier, reducing the risk of sepsis.

The project has cut emergency department attendance by 12% and hospital admissions by 21%.

Tracy MeansTracy Means. Picture credit: Jim Varney

Tracy says: ‘The team and I are committed to developing this service for residents in care homes.

‘The service is different to many run in other trusts, due to the combination of education and training running simultaneously with ward rounds.

‘It is more proactive then other services because it helps identify residents who need increased support in order for them to be managed at the right time, by the right person,
in their preferred place of care.

‘It also ensures the staff in the care homes have the right skills and knowledge to provide this care to some of the most vulnerable people in the community.’

About the sponsor

Hallmark Care HomesHallmark Care Homes

Hallmark Care Homes is one of the leading providers of high quality, relationship-centred care, with 15 beautifully furnished care homes across England and Wales. They are dedicated to providing quality environments and high standards of care, which enable residents to live life to the full. Hallmark Care Homes employ outstanding nurses that play a vital part in their care delivery. They provide exceptional career pathways for nurses from graduation through to senior managers, which include clinical and leadership programmes. If you’re thinking of a career move, give Hallmark Care Homes a call on 01277 314191 or visit hallmarkcarehomes.co.uk