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Optimal Wards Framework - every patient, every ward, every time

Wed 18th June, 2014
Optimal Wards Framework - every patient, every ward, every time

In a ‘first of its kind’ LiA event, 70 frontline staff from 8 Trusts came together in Birmingham this week to build a series of 24 Optimal Ward Checklists creating 168 ‘always events’ for patients.

The aim of this dynamic, outcome-focused day was to build an LiA Optimal Ward Framework, based on:


  • Checklists to deliver ward-specific promises to patients, to ensure standards, reduce variation, and truly put the patient at the centre of what staff do

  •  The LiA 7 Steps to engage ward teams around implementing the checklists for every patient, on every ward, every time.

In a complex ward environment, the checklists will provide practical, precise steps, with reminders of the most critical and important elements for patient care and outcomes.

Getting ‘all the right people' around the table is key to the success of such an event. Of the 70 participants, 90% were clinical ward 'experts' - ward sisters, chief nurses, matrons, HCAs, doctors, pharmacists, psychiatrists, therapists and others - and 10% were Chief Executives and other influencers who will enable and 'unblock the way' to support implementation and spread in their Trusts.

A series of carefully-crafted collaborative activities during the day harnessed their collective skills and experience. Working in cross-Trust teams, with a rich mix of different staff in each, these centred on creating checklists under the headings of:

  • Quality and safety
  • The patient experience
  • Working smarter together.

The checklists focus on priorities such as ‘treating patients with dignity and respect’, ‘avoiding unnecessary delays in patients going home’ and ‘optimising ward rounds for patients’.

During the latter part of the day, all participants reviewed and gave input to every one of the checklists, building on and challenging the output from the day to make it even better. In this way, all 70 people contributed to all 24 checklists.

The output from the Optimal Wards day is being synthesised and captured into the online LiA Navigator. It will be tightened up by a 'review panel' from across the Trusts, and then made available to all Year 2 LiA Trusts to adopt and spread in parallel. Ongoing learning and improvements will be 'bottled back in' on an ongoing basis, making the Optimal Wards Framework stronger and better all the time.

The 'end game' is to ensure consistent, safe care and the best possible patient experience, by having a leading-edge repository of 'always events' for every patient on every ward every day, developed by staff - who know the most.

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