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What research is needed to improve fundamental care on hospital wards? - Anya De Iongh - Patient Champion

8 June 2016

Last year we asked people across Wessex: ‘What research is needed to improve fundamental care on hospital wards?’

As we prepare to publish our final paper, we wanted to give an update on the responses we had and how they have shaped the planned research.    

Following really valuable contributions from patients, carers and staff (through a survey, workshop and discussions) we summarised and ranked the ideas that came up. The top five areas for research to improve fundamental care on hospital wards were: nurse staffing, patient centred care, involvement in care, communication, and staff attitudes.

We then met to review how our work (past, current and future) matches these areas. We found that we have many projects underway on safe staffing (the top priority), but not many on individualised patient care, involvement, and communication. 

We are now preparing to research ways to change practice in these areas to improve overall care patients receive. We will focus on individualised patient care, communication and staff-patient relationships. This project will be developed with patients, carers, and members of the public. It will be tested in several smaller studies. The other work on safe staffing will carry on.

The new research will cover: 

•          Preparing and supporting teams of healthcare professionals to provide compassionate person-centred care (Creating             Learning Environments for Compassionate Care CLECC)

•         Using a “Tell-Us Card” to support patients to set goals with staff

•         Improving patient information about looking after your skin to avoid pressure ulcers

•         Developing a system to tailor care to the individual based on preferences and needs


Together, these activities address the key topics found in the priority setting exercise (communication and patient-centred care) in a way that is measureable (through using skin care) – another key issue that came up in conversations with patients, carers, and staff.

For more information or if you’d like to be involved in future work, please contact: jane.ball@soton.ac.uk


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