We have caught up with the Practice Nursing Award shortlist ahead of this year’s General Practice Awards, run by our publisher Cogora, which will be held on 9 December at a glitzy ceremony at Novotel London West.
The fourth entry under the spotlight from this year’s shortlist of five is the nursing team at Tenbury Surgery, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.
The new five-strong nursing team at the rural Tenbury Surgery has been working hard to establish relationships with each other, their patients, the practice team, and wider network, as well as to streamline appointment provision and introduce a new hypertension protocol, working together as a nurse and GP team for diabetes care and anticoagulation.
Having observed the previous nurse team and met with the single long-standing nursing healthcare assistant to understand the surgery’s service provision, ethos, and history, they built trust and gathered information for the task in hand to ‘redefine’ the nurse team.
They established early on that several areas needed change and improvement. The working environment needed changing to decrease patient consultation interruption. A declutter was needed to allow for structured ordering and stocking of equipment. And simple DIY maintenance jobs needed to be completed to maintain a safe environment. The nurse teams sessions also needed overhauling to streamline and define roles.
Collaboration and understanding of each other, the service and the patients’ needs were paramount considerations when agreeing changes.
Training focused on diabetes, anticoagulation and hypertension, standardising and agreeing plans of care. The nurses’ sessions were overhauled to become more streamlined, defining nurse and healthcare roles and improving patient access to phlebotomy, dressings, and online cytology appointments.
The team initially met on a one-to-one basis to understand each other’s learning needs and those of the service, developing a training plan for each team member. They then got together to agree on lead responsibilities to ensure that standards were met for quality patient care, something which is ongoing.
They discussed with partners how the team’s skillsets would improve diabetes care and brought in further training on diabetes foot checks, enabling a ‘one stop shop’ for patients’ annual reviews and a new results process, which meant that patients who were well-controlled did not necessarily need a follow up over the phone or face-to-face.
A redesign of the diabetes template meant that each clinical role was clearly defined and ensured all data was captured. It involved the collaboration of GPs with diabetes interest, health care assistants, nurses, and patients most of all. It is still a work in progress, but already referrals for diabetes education have increased and have been met with positivity.
For the anticoagulation service provision, regular audits, a maintenance contract, rota and plans for patients to access the service across the week were established, and a new hypertension protocol was also developed.
What they said
‘I entered our team into the awards after receiving an email from General Practice Awards stating it was the last day of entry!’ says nurse manager Amanda Wood.
‘I felt compelled to enter as we had done so much over the short time that we have worked together that we are very proud of and, even if we hadn’t become finalists, felt it a good and positive reflection of our achievements.
‘We were absolutely delighted to hear we had been shortlisted, an immediate morale boost, we were then a little daunted as to how we would get to London, some of us have never been!
‘We would be absolutely over the moon to win to put a rural new practice nurse team on the map, showing what good, positive work can be done with dedication, motivation, teamwork, and collaboration.’