Get it on Time: Parkinson's Medication

Get it on Time: Parkinson's Medication featured image

The aim of our project is to ensure Parkinson’s patients within our inpatient settings receive their medication within 30 minutes of the planned time. The project commenced in March 2021 and has continued since. The aspiration is that we ensure the project work is embedded into the operational delivery on our wards.

Pharmacist Luke Huntley previously worked in Newquay Hospital and noticed the profound impact of timely medication on one of his patients with Parkinson’s. After a discussion with Lynne Osborne, Parkinson’s Nurse Consultant, Luke was keen to commence a project to improve this for all Parkinson’s patients and this is how the project first started.

A delay in medication can lead to serious health implications for someone living with Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s UK data shows there were 1075 admissions in Cornwall in 2021/22 compared to a national average of 910 admissions.

The average length of stay for Parkinson’s patients in Cornwall had risen by 21.4% compared to the previous year. Patient experience and management of symptoms has been a top priority and driver of the project to hopefully reduce the length of stay for this cohort of patients.

The Life QI system was used throughout the project so the team could access, update and propose change ideas linked with the primary and secondary drivers.

Our key outcome measures were improved staff knowledge and awareness of time critical medication and a reduction in doses administered outside of the 30 minute window. We have now also implemented gold, silver and bronze awards for the wards as another way to engage staff and celebrate success.

Results are shared with teams on a weekly basis in data tables and visual charts which are easy to read. This provides wards with timely data from which they can make improvements and provides the project team with data so they can focus any improvement activity on particular areas.

We have provided bespoke educational masterclasses on time critical medication and shared posters and videos to raise awareness about the impact of delayed medication. We celebrated World Parkinson’s Day in April by launching pill timers and an information pack for each ward, to support the timely administration of medication.

The chart below shows the percentage of doses over 30 minutes for each quarter. There has been an 11% reduction since the start of the project. Over the last few quarters, 4 wards have achieved the gold standard of 0% of doses over 30 minutes.

Staff have been engaged with the project and verbal feedback has shown the benefits of the masterclasses in raising awareness.

Linking in with the local representative for Parkinson’s UK, we are aware that Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have embedded the Get it On Time project with great results. In terms of benchmarking there is minimal data available with very few Trusts conducting similar work at present.

To ensure the project is sustainable and continually improving, we are aiming to roll it out in our inpatient mental health units and start looking at options for a self- administration policy for patients.

We have also shared this project at the RCHT QI Conference, and they have recently joined our project team so they can embed the learning and QI project within their acute hospital.

We continue to see improvements in the figures each week and encourage staff to feedback to us for any additional tools or resources to support them. We are excited for the next year of the project and aiming for that ultimate gold standard of 0% of doses delivered outside of the 30-minute window across the Trust.

Kylie Lock
Quality Lead
Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust [email protected]
01208 251300

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