Barnsley Hospital reduces pressure ulcers

Barnsley hospital at night

Fast Facts

Perfect Ward is supporting Barnsley Hospital in delivering continuous and sustainable quality improvements in patient care. Of the 15 metrics assessed, between

January to September:

• Only 2 metrics (13.3%) assessed scored the 90% benchmark in January

• By September - 8 metrics (53.3%) scored 90% or above

• 14 of 15 metrics recorded a tangible improvement between January and

September, an improvement of 93.3%

• Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust uses Perfect Ward as a digital quality solution that enables staff to conduct more effective quality inspections to support good governance, educate front line staff and promote clinical best-practice across the organisation

• Perfect Ward has transformed the quality culture by promoting greater knowledge sharing and adopting a radically new ‘doing the right things’ philosophy

• Reports and triangulation encourage different departments to conduct root cause analysis and problem-solving collaboratively

• Using Perfect Ward as an integral part of the drive towards gold standard quality, Barnsley Hospital has developed their range of areas, from 2 to 5 areas, covering pressure ulcer prevention, inpatient wards, nutrition and hydration, medicines management and non-inpatient clinical areas.

Between January and September 2020, Barnsley achieved an improvement rate of 93.3% using Perfect Ward metrics

Barnsley Hospital delivers immediate quality improvement results with Perfect Ward

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is using Perfect Ward to provide an immediate view of risks to the quality of care. The real-time visibility of data from the Perfect Ward app, enables staff to take quick action to prevent patient harm. The data, which is captured by nurses during quality inspections, has become an essential part of the quality improvement programme in the hospital, their good governance framework.

The framework is designed to promote clinical best-practice and has made a huge impact; front line staff ‘own’ quality, training needs are easily identified, departments openly share best practice and there is a clear process for managing identified issues. This has all been made possible by Perfect Ward.


Time for change, time for action, time to modernise

‘Proud to care’ is the guiding principle at Barnsley Hospital, always striving to provide outstanding, integrated care. The Trust is equally committed to reducing incidents of avoidable patient harm. To deliver the highest quality and safest levels of care, the Trust recognised it needed to modernise their auditing and clinical performance.

Moving away from paper and spreadsheets

According to Gavin Portier, Head of Nursing Quality at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, “Traditionally for our monthly ward inspections, our staff relied on a pen, piece of paper and manual data entry. Auditing was largely sporadic and there was no clear structure to support the process. This meant repeat issues were hard to identify, and rarely escalated or addressed. We needed to change and set about transforming quality performance across the Trust.”

The first step on the journey was to appoint Gavin Portier as the dedicated project lead in 2019. The role was to work with the team from Perfect Ward and maximising the potential from the digital solution.


Introducing a Good Governance Framework

Gavin and his team established a robust governance framework that would measure and record quality, and establish a strong and effective set of processes to facilitate tangible improvements to patient care. A fundamental part of the framework was the introduction of a Quality Assurance Panel (QAP) led by the Trust’s clinical and quality experts: including the Head of Nursing Quality, Deputy Director of Nursing, Systems Director of Infection Prevention Control and Head of Clinical Governance & Quality.

Gavin continued, “The objective of the good governance framework is to foster a positive environment of knowledge-sharing where under-performing parts of the Trust can learn from those with consistently good results. Additionally, it provides a clear escalation process for new issues and ensures that measures are taken to address repeat issues. This improves patient care in a highly proactive and measurable way, while enabling the hospital to respond to questions from the Care Quality Commission swiftly and efficiently.”

“The objective of the good governance framework is to foster a positive environment of knowledge-sharing where under-performing parts of the Trust can learn from those with consistently good results.”

Using technology to transform the quality culture

Perfect Ward was pivotal to the success of the new quality programme. Early in 2020, Barnsley Hospital decided to revitalise how they were using Perfect Ward. They wanted to maximise more of the capabilities and use the data and reports as a powerful tool to educate frontline staff and to promote best-practice.

All lead nurses now have the Perfect Ward app on their smart devices. This enables them to share and talk through the results of reports with their teams, who in turn are eager to learn about their progress and explore new ways to improve patient care.

Gavin explained, “As a process-driven tool that everyone can use, Perfect Ward promotes a culture of openness and accountability. Staff can track and demonstrate the effect of their actions on protecting patients, and on enhancing the reputation of the wider Trust. It’s not enough just to measure something, you have to take action to improve. What is more, if you focus on measuring what you should be doing, rather than just the negatives, you eventually reach gold standard. Perfect Ward has helped transform our quality culture by teaching people to ‘do the right things’ to improve patient care – I would say that’s the single biggest benefit of the system.”


Actively using visible metrics and reducing patient harm

The advanced real-time reporting capabilities within Perfect Ward are invaluable to senior nursing staff. The Trust’s Directors of Nursing have made progress in addressing patient falls and pressure ulcers. Through greater visibility and a deeper understanding of the issues involved, the team can focus on areas that need more support. In addition, root cause reports can be used to predict future issues, so steps can be taken to reduce or even avoid patient harm.


Gavin added: “By putting Perfect Ward metrics into our governance structure, not only did we make the system more robust but we could also see what’s really happening in real-time. There are no filters, meaning we have all the data we need to take effective decisions and nip issues in the bud.”

Confidence in the system future-proofs our governance programme

By unleashing the full potential of Perfect Ward, Gavin and his team are simultaneously boosting senior management confidence and staff engagement. The encouraging results of recent audits have demonstrated the effectiveness of a sound governance structure. With the addition of Perfect Ward’s digital solution, board members can see the key quality developments across the Trust, in a timely and efficient manner. As front line staff understand the importance of ‘doing the right things’ and seeing how Perfect Ward reflects their progress, they are inspired to do the very best job they can.

Gavin sees further potential for utilising Perfect Ward, for example, to re-define challenging areas such as dementia care. Adopting the same ‘doing the right things’ philosophy and using digital technology to illustrate successes, he believes Barnsley Hospital NHS Hospitals Trust has the power to set and achieve gold standards in dementia care and share best-practice with other hospitals.

“After all, the Perfect Ward team is brilliant. Always very helpful and responsive to our needs. They really want us to succeed and with partners like them, anything is possible,” Gavin concluded.

“As front line staff understand the importance of ‘doing the right things’ and seeing how Perfect Ward reflects their progress, they are inspired to do the very best job they can.”

About Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Barnsley Hospital is amongst the leading NHS trusts in the country. The 350+ bed hospital was built in the 1970s and serves a population of over a quarter of a million people in the Barnsley area. Today, it continues to provide a full range of district hospital services to the local community and surrounding area. These include emergency department services, outpatient clinics, inpatient services and maternity and children’s services. The organisation also provides a number of specialised services, including cancer and surgical services, in conjunction with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

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About Perfect Ward

Perfect Ward is a specialist provider in digital quality improvement and safety solutions across health and social care. Working with leading healthcare organisations in the UK, Australia and South Africa, Perfect Ward is designed to make health and quality inspections easier and more efficient. Using Perfect Ward empowers front line staff to take ownership of quality and gives them back more time to care for patients. Perfect Ward works across hospitals, operating theatres, pharmacies, ambulance services, care homes, pharmacy, community and social care.

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