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Practice development unit – every person makes a difference
  1. Ann Norris
  1. St. Ann's Hospice, Manchester, UK


Practice Development has become an established element of nursing clinical development in the UK. While hospices may employ individuals to facilitate clinical practice developments, a wider organisational approach to practice development is less evident. Over the last 2 years St Ann's Hospice, Manchester embarked on an organisational approach to Practice Development through accreditation with Leeds University.

The purpose of this initiative was to encourage an ethos of Practice Development throughout the organisation, across all services (paid and voluntary) and professional groups (clinical and non-clinical). The key aim was to encourage wider organisational engagement and empowerment, in the development of quality care and service provision for patients and carers.

The accreditation process began with the formation of Practice Development Lead and Steering Groups. Lead group membership had representatives from different levels and disciplines within the Hospice. The Steering Group membership involved some key Hospice personnel, representatives from local Community Palliative Care Services, Manchester University School of Nursing, business expertise and service users. Accreditation included developing a Practice Development framework, sourcing evidence to achieve the 15 core criteria set by Leeds University, and interim and final on site assessment from a diverse accreditation team.

Examples of projects undertaken over the 2 years that positively influence patient care are:

  • The provision of laundry net bags for patients clothes, that can be clearly labelled to prevent loss

  • A new recycling scheme throughout the organisation which reduces waste and cost

  • The production of a physiotherapy DVD for patients to be used by their bedside.

The initiative has proven its worth as a mechanism for harnessing the creativity of staff and volunteers from across the whole organisation, particularly with groups that previously perceived their roles to be less involved in the development of quality patient focused care.

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