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NHS Improvement release guide to developing and implementing ward and unit accreditation programmes

NHS Improvement have released a guide to developing and implementing ward and unit accreditation programmes. This is a practical guide to developing a ward and unit accreditation programme, pointing out the benefits and key enablers, providing practical tips and sharing learning from trusts that have implemented successful accreditation programmes. The examples show how four trusts from across England have developed standards against which quality and achievement of outcomes are measured to gain accreditation at ward and unit level. 

Improving nursing practice is not always easy and even good initiatives can fail if they do not have a structured approach to support the desired change. 

Nursing and midwifery staff in wards and units across the NHS regularly complete audits and assessments to provide information on how well they are doing in meeting standards of patient care. However, this information is not always used in a consistent way to define quality of care and performance at ward/unit level. Without a clear direction and sense of purpose, collecting the multiple pieces of data required at ward/unit level can seem like performance management rather than work to drive continuous improvement. This can lead to frustration in nursing and midwifery teams and reduce staff engagement in improving quality. 

Developing a set of standards against which to measure quality of care is central to demonstrating improvement. Accreditation brings together key measures of nursing and clinical care into one overarching framework to enable a comprehensive assessment of the quality of care at ward, unit or team level. When used effectively, it can drive continuous improvement in patient outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction and staff experience at ward and unit level. With a clear direction and a structured approach, it creates the collective sense of purpose necessary to help communication, encourage ownership and achieve a robust programme to measure and influence care delivery. Support from the trust board and sponsorship from the director of nursing/chief nurse, as well as fully alignment of the programme with the strategic direction of the organisation and the organisation’s overall performance reporting approach, will aid success and sustainability.

Read the full guide here

Source: NHS Improvement March 2019

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Ward Accreditation for Quality
Monday 16 September 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

31 May 2019


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