During an extremely busy winter with the facing pressures of reducing numbers of nursing home beds on the Isle of Wight, The Trust created a "step down facility" in the bed base of a nursing home that had been prevented from admitting patients.
Owing to the restrictions placed on the Nursing Home by the CQC, the Team created an innovative unit that was totally separate from the Nursing home dedicated to patients who were ready to leave the Trust but didn’t have a care package or Nursing home bed available.
Under increasing bed pressures and a prolonged Winter period experienced by many hospitals, nurses and allied health professionals across the country have openly declared that they feel they are too stretched to give high quality patient centered care due to the sheer volume of patients and their ever increasing acuity when being admitted to hospital.
Allowing nurses to give patients, and equally as importantly themselves, the time recuperate at Poppy Unit has seen huge patient benefits in terms of patient outcomes and patient experience feedback. Whilst staffing levels is an issue which has been recognized as a national issue through ‘safer staffing’, being a satellite site nurse-led environment it is even more important to ensure that there are sufficient staff to tend to the needs of the patients. The project team gained assurance from the Trust that the Unit would be a priority site in terms of staffing if backfill was required. As such staffing protocols were put in place to ensure that the patients at Poppy Unit were never put at risk due to a staffing issue.
Successes of the opening of Poppy Unit include the quality of care that staff are able to give to patients:
- 41% of patients transferred to Poppy Unit who had previously been assessed as requiring nursing home placements have seen health improvements and gone on to require a smaller package of care, and in some cases have even managed to go home.
Those cohorts of patients that have benefited the most are those with Dementia. The environment allows Dementia patients to be taken away from the incessant noise of a busy acute hospital setting; at Poppy Unit they are encouraged to get back to normal activities of daily living, wearing their own clothes rather than pyjamas or a hospital gown. At Poppy Unit the patients are encourage to eat together around the dining tables, this allows patients with dementia to mimic the actions of others, in turn increasing their nutritional intake.