A team from across Pobl care services has succeeded in winning a bursary from the Patients First Programme of £5,000 and 12 months support to deliver a project that aims to create an innovative quality assurance tool which puts resident voice and experience at its heart.
Patients First is a partnership programme between the Foundation of Nursing Studies and the Burdett Trust for Nursing, which helps clinically based nurses, midwives and health visitors to lead innovations that will improve patient care across all health and social care settings in the UK.
Pobl is the only Welsh provider who was successful in applying for funding on the 2016/2017 programme and the first non NHS Welsh team to be involved for six years.
Here, Project lead, Lisa Kieh, Head of Nursing Care, explains more about the project:
Traditionally, studies that have looked at the quality of care experienced by residents in care homes have focussed on clinical indicators, with little evidence of measuring quality based on residents’ perspectives. We want to change that.
We believe that people who use care services, their family, carers and care workers all have insights and expertise that are vital to our understanding of what makes best quality care – in terms of the standards it demonstrates, the customer experience it provides and the outcomes it delivers.
We want to develop a quality assurance model, in the form of a wellbeing tool, which allows us to measure a resident’s wellbeing as well as the quality of ‘medical care’. This will enable staff to analyse the complete experience of a resident’s care and use feedback to improve resident experience and drive forward continuous improvement.
We are particularly keen to develop this wellbeing tool where we provide nursing care for older adults with communication and cognition deficits and so, with the support of staff, residents and visitors, the project is based at Cwmgelli Lodge in Blackwood.
Some of the people we care for are unable to communicate with us reliably either because of later stage dementia or aphasia. Therefore, our project intends to gain a better understanding of what good care means to residents who have communication challenges and their families.
Staff within the core project team have already had basic training about emotional touchpoints; a technique developed by Professor Belinda Dewar that helps people to share aspects of experiences that are important to them (rather than the things we as service providers think are important). Touchpoints represent the key moments or events that stand out as crucial to a person’s experience of receiving a service; moments where a person recalls being touched emotionally (feelings) or cognitively (deep and lasting memories).
This approach helps practitioners to see both the positive and negative aspects of an experience in a more balanced way, and to help customers to take part in developing the service in a meaningful and realistic way. As a project team we would like to use and explore this idea to generate discussion and feedback at our care services.
We’re now a few months in and the project is already helping to improve practice by encouraging staff to think of things in a more creative way and to consider resident experience as a fundamental principle. The end result should give staff something to evidence the quality of service delivery to complement the ‘medical’ statistics we gather. We envisage this new tool being of benefit across all Pobl’s care services.