A new ward model is being trialled in NUH (dubbed the Community Ward) within the Health Care of Older People (HCOP) speciality. This pilot ward trials a new therapy and nursing led approach to managing a ward of medically well patients within an acute hospital setting.
- To provide on-going care with a reablement focus whilst awaiting discharge, to prevent deconditioning, and to strive towards stepping down of care needs on discharge by improving function.
- To expedite discharges through a focussed approach using board rounds, internal escalation processes and existing links to community and social care services.
What is happening? Nottingham University Hospitals have a number of patients at any one time that no longer require the level of acute care provided by our current workforce, this is normally due to delays in transfer of care. HCOP will co-locate appropriate patients from this cohort in order to deliver care in a more appropriate manner. This is provided by a therapy led team and will focus on reablement so patients maintain as much of their normal routine and function as possible.
What will this look like? The workforce model differs to our other six HCOP wards due to the fact that only patients who are deemed as medically fit and safe to leave hospital will be placed here. Whilst ensuring patient medical safety is paramount, the need for a consultant lead on the ward is removed and medical cover is provided by Trust Grade specialty doctors who respond to urgent medical issues and complete any necessary tasks requiring a Doctor. The ward is managed by an Occupational Therapy practitioner and has a team of nursing and therapy staff.
What is the reablement approach? The focus is on assisting our patients to resume as much of their normal routine as possible while they await transfer back into the community. The team are committed to the #endPJparalysis initiative and there is a strong emphasis upon getting out of bed and dressed, as well as accessing the dining room and bathrooms as much as possible. The team will hold bay based exercise groups for those less able as well as starting to work on goals that have been identified for those waiting to access community rehabilitation or other services. There will be close engagement with family/carers to ensure we are able to support them and patients through the discharge process. The ward team are made up of dedicated staff that are used to working in an acute setting, and are optimistic about the potential benefits that this joint therapy and nursing approach could have for this cohort of patients.