NHS TAYSIDE’S frontline staff from Arbroath Infirmary, Perth Royal Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital came together earlier this month to give an update on their work to improve care for older people in hospitals.
The event at the Westpark Conference Centre focused on the work of the Older People in Acute Care (OPAC) Collaborative which is a joint programme of work between NHS Tayside and NHS Grampian and is led by NHS Tayside Nurse Director Dr Margaret McGuire.
The ambition of the programme is to support all members of the frontline team, including nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, pharmacists and support staff to improve the experience of older people in acute care. It is supported in NHS Tayside by Clinical Lead Dr Cesar Rodriguez, Programme Director Diane Campbell and Improvement Advisor Morag MacRae.
Following the launch of the Collaborative in June of this year, whole ward teams have been working hard to implement changes to improve the experience of the older patient. The event provided all the teams with a chance to update their colleagues on the work being done and share good practice.
Speaking at the event, Dr McGuire said: “I feel really inspired by some of the stories coming out from the work the teams are doing. They are effecting simple changes but everything they are doing means we are getting to know our patients and their needs better.
“For example, some of the ward teams have implemented hourly care rounds, led by the nursing team which involve each patient being checked every hour to ensure they are comfortable, that they have everything they need by their bedside, that they have a drink and asked if they need to use the toilet. The result has been that patients don’t need to use their buzzers so often and so the ward is a quieter and calmer environment.”
Dr Rodriguez added: “The work of the Collaborative has produced some really good examples of changes to the way we do things for not just our older people, but for all our patients.