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£50m to improve ward efficiency


9 May, 2008  

The UK government has unveiled a £50m investment to improve efficiency on hospital wards.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said nurses could double the amount of time they spend on direct patient care and slash unnecessary paperwork thanks to the Productive Ward programme.

The scheme empowers nurses to look at how their ward is organised and make changes that allow them to spend more time with patients. Often these are very simple ideas, such as altering patient handover time, reorganising storage facilities and making better use of data.

The programme has been piloted in four trusts and a further two are rolling out the programme across all of their wards.

The government said evidence from the pilot sites shows the Productive Ward can cut handover time by a third, reduce medicine round time by 63% and cut meal wastage rates from 7% to 1%.

About 80% of trusts have already signed up to the programme, but only two are rolling it out across all their wards.

Mr Johnson said: “The programme works because nurses have total ownership. The power is in their hands to make changes. I want to work with the RCN and ward sisters to encourage more trusts to put the principles of the Productive Ward programme into action.”

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