In December 2019 a member of the quality team spent a week working with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (SHFT) staff and service users and carers (about 25 all together) helping to facilitate a Quality Improvement project. The project is one of their Rapid Process Improvement workshops (RPIW) focusing on increasing therapeutic time on Hawthorns 2 ward, a mental health ward at Parklands Hospital in Basingstoke, by reducing time spent on admin and logistical activity.
The week was a culmination of a great deal of background work pulling together a wide variety of information including many hours of just observing what happens on the ward. The information was then presented in a visual way using a variety of charts and diagrams so that everyone could see what activities happen on the ward and how long they took.
The RPI Workshop with CCG and SHFT staff and patients and carers then looked at what was happening and between them came to their own conclusions as to where things could be done differently and reduce waste so that staff time spent on non-patient facing activity could be freed up to increase therapeutic time with patients.
Having service users was really valuable as they constantly gave a different perspective and were totally involved in the discussions on ward rounds, activities and observations. It was not an easy week and there were many challenges but together the team came up with many changes that they are going to make on the ward and if successful will release 165 hours per week of staff time for patient care. The first 30 day report against the action plan is due during January which will be followed by a 60 day and 90 day report.
- As a result of the workshop some quick wins were identified. Patients were frustrated because although they are allowed to keep their mobile phones they could not keep their chargers as they are a ligature risk. As a result they had to ask staff to charge their phones every time. SHFT are now working to put charging safes in place so phones can be plugged into the charger directly.
- Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings take place for a whole day twice a week in the activity room. This is inconvenient for patients and time consuming for staff and is generally not popular with either. The ward will now implement a rolling MDT on both the male and female wings lead by the patients and nurses who know the patients best and patients can decide who they need to see on that day. This initiative could save many hours of staff time a week to enhance care for patients.