New senior nurses focussing on quality improvements in Lincolnshire’s hospitals

New 'Quality Matrons': John Boulton, Julie Button, Jennie Deeks, Karen Bailey and Nicolene Atkinson.
New 'Quality Matrons': John Boulton, Julie Button, Jennie Deeks, Karen Bailey and Nicolene Atkinson.

Five new matrons have now started work to help improve the quality of care in Lincolnshire’s hospitals.

The dedicated senior nurses have been brought in to support wards and departments to make positive changes for the benefit of their patients.

Their first job is to lead and embed United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s (ULHT) ward accreditation scheme.

This is a new initiative, where the 40 adult inpatient wards across Lincoln County Hospital, Louth County Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, and Grantham and District Hospital will be regularly inspected and assessed against a range of measures.

The new matrons in post are John Boulton, Julie Button, Karen Bailey, Jennie Deeks and Nicolene Atkinson. All five work across all ULHT hospitals, both supporting individual wards and departments and doing targeted pieces of quality improvement work.

John said: “Our main focus is to improve the quality of patient care delivery across the organisation as a whole.

“We do that in a variety of ways. We coordinate the ward accreditation scheme, where we inspect wards measuring them against the organisational standards. Looking at for example how patient falls or pressure ulcers are managed and prevented on the wards, how the correct nutrition for patients is maintained, the experience of patients, the workforce in the area, infection prevention performance and the end of life care provided.

“Each ward is assessed and given a rating of red, amber, or green based on how it scores in the 13 standards. We will then support the ward team to develop and implement an improvement action plan to further enhance the quality of care and patient experience before the next ward inspection. Each ward is aiming for blue status which is a fully accredited ward.”

The team also carries out targeted improvement work. One example is a piece of work that has been started to improve and standardise the documentation that wards use for hourly ward rounds.

The team has also done a targeted piece of work around the safe management of nasogastric tubes on the adult in patient wards which has led to two members of the team winning an award from the Academy of FAB stuff. This project remains ongoing to follow up and ensure staff are supported in the clinical environment.

John Boulton said: “We are able to do these pieces of work that benefit everyone, having a huge impact on patient safety.

“A lot of themes that come out of ward accreditation visits create the targeted pieces of work that we then move on to do. We are able to have that oversight of the whole organisation and identify issues and themes across the organisation. We can also help to get rid of silo working and reduce variation.”

As well as targeted ward accreditation and improvement work, the team are also involved with larger organisational projects supporting the ULHT clinical strategy.