Background Ward exemplar programmes are associated with better patient outcomes and increased staff retention and are common place within the NHS. Whilst hospices are familiar with audits there is little written about ward exemplars within a hospice setting and the benefit that they can have. Ward exemplars aim to set out five key pillars: Quality and safety; Efficiency; Patient experience; Staff experience; Improving.
Aims To evaluate the implementation of a ward exemplar programme within a specialist palliative care in-patient unit, the benefits to patients and staff and the impact on culture.
Method A working group was set up in 2021 that included senior nurses, matron, ward manager and administration support. Time was spent looking at the current audit programme within the hospice and how the ward exemplar could support service and quality improvement. A project plan was devised that looked at implementation and staff required to ensure the ward exemplar was embedded into practice. It is acknowledged that engaged staff help sustain changes to practice and promote a culture of continuous improvement. With the changes to CQC inspections in hospices, time was also taken to ensure the ward exemplar was linked to the key lines of enquiry.
Results The ward exemplar programme continues to be embedded and modules added. It has enabled greater focus on patient outcomes including personalised care review.
Results that will be evaluated are
Staff engagement and culture.
Patient outcomes and satisfaction.
Use of resources.
Ability to evidence practice improved and increased readiness for CQC inspections.
Conclusion Embedding of the ward exemplar has led to increased staff engagement and ownership of the programme. Readiness for CQC inspections improved and culture is now more focused on service and quality improvement.
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