The hospice recognised the need to maximise the talent and expertise of Band 5 palliative care nurses. Funding was set aside in annual budget planning to reward the equivalent of one increment on Agenda for Change NHS pay scale (band 5) to nurses undertaking a project for one year. We later diversified the plan to also allow band 3 healthcare assistants to be eligible which again rewards the equivalent of one increment on Agenda for Change NHS pay scale (band 3).
Through setting up a project, nurses could be recognised for the additional work they do, over and above caring for the patients. As a hospice we know we are providing the best evidence based care, whilst in turn upskilling staff.
Staff create a project plan with a number of outcomes, often including increasing staff awareness of a current evidence on their topic and creating resources for staff to use.
We support staff by offering dedicated study time, access to study days and ongoing project support from our advanced nurse practitioner. In return they deliver current evidence based resources and teaching to the in patient unit staff.
On launch of project uptake was low with three projects being submitted, once these projects were in action and visible on the wards, we opened a second round of application, to utilise the funding allocated. There was increased interest, generating many applications from staff. This highlights staff clearly value the project and are keen to get involved.
We currently have five projects running covering topics including, Motor Neurone Disease, Wound care, Outcome Measures and Infection Prevention. We are planning poster displays to celebrate nursing achievements in the hospice to highlight the work being undertaken and how this is influencing our practice.
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