Lincolnshire hospital wards earn ‘green’ light rating in quality inspections

The senior nursing team carrying out ward inspections. EMN-181210-112753001
The senior nursing team carrying out ward inspections. EMN-181210-112753001

Wards across Lincolnshire’s hospitals are celebrating after being given an overall ‘green light’ rating in a quality accreditation scheme.

Over the past year, inpatient wards at Lincoln County Hospital, Grantham and District Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital, Boston and County Hospital, Louth have been inspected as part of the ward accreditation programme - a scheme designed to drive up the quality and consistency of care provided and the experience of patients.

So far, 14 inpatients wards out of 40 inspected across the trust at Lincoln, Boston, Grantham and one in Louth have already met many of the criteria to demonstrate they provide the highest quality patient care - making them ‘green’. As yet, none have made the grade in Louth.

Ward accreditation was a new initiative launched in October 2017, where wards across United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) are regularly scrutinised by a team of independent senior nurses and assessed against a range of patient care and safety measures and workforce requirements. They have just done a third wave of inspections, with two getting green first time and the next 12 hitting green on their second or third wave.

ULHT identified 13 quality standards which the wards are measured against. During an inspection of a ward, the senior nursing team will look at many areas of care including how falls and pressure ulcers are prevented on the ward, how the correct nutrition for patients is maintained, the experience of patients, the workforce in the area, infection prevention performance and the end of life care provided.

Each ward is given a rating of red, amber or green based on how it scores in the 13 standards. The ward team will then be supported to develop and implement an improvement plan to further enhance the quality of care and patient experience before the next ward accreditation visit.

It’s an ongoing programme of improvement to ensure our wards maintain the correct standards and continually look to improve.

Quality Matron John Boulton, who is one of the team involved in supporting the ward accreditation process, said: “This is an amazing accomplishment from the teams. The accreditation process looks into how wards are performing and the teams across Lincolnshire’s hospitals have shown that they are able to identify the actions they need to take to ensure the care they give their patients is of the highest standard.

“This focus on ensuring that they provide safe, harm free care is evident in the ward performance and the leadership shown by the individual ward managers.

“We are so proud of the ward teams and expect the number of green wards to increase so that all wards will achieve this recognition.”

Deputy Chief Nurse Victoria Bagshaw said: “We have been very excited about this scheme because we believe it will enable us to further improve the quality of care provided across our hospitals.

“We believe it sets ambitious but realistic goals for our wards, and will help them on a quality improvement journey. We are already seeing improved ward leadership, improved patient experience, reductions in avoidable patient harms and improved clinical efficiency and effectiveness.”

During an inspection of a ward, the senior nursing team will look at the following areas: pressure ulcer prevention, care of the deteriorating patient, falls, infection prevention, nutrition, medicines safety, continence care, safeguarding, risk management, end of life care, patient experience, patient flown and effective workforce.

The wards that have achieved the ‘green status’ as of Monday October 8 are:

Lincoln: Navenby, Burton, Stroke unit, Hatton and Ashby wards.

Pilgrim:

1b, 3a, 6a, 6b and Stroke unit.

Grantham: Ward 2, Ward 6, Acute care unit and emergency admissions unit.