Right Assessment, Right Time

image1This blog is part of a semi-regular series on team working: if you work as part of a “dream team” and want to blog about it, please let us know! Email communications@bgs.org.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

This blog comes from Angela Moore, an Older People’s Specialist Nurse at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Our team has started small but we are aiming high: high standards, high levels of satisfaction, and high levels of engagement. We started 8 months ago when my colleague Caroline and I were employed by Hinchingbrooke Hospital to meet our frailty CQUIN. How things have grown in such a short time! We’ve had some amazing support including that of our director of nursing Deirdre Fowler, our orthogeriatric consultant Sally Bashford and our divisional lead. I’m sure we’ve driven them all a little insane with our boundless enthusiasm!

We are both passionate about providing high quality patient centred care; we believe our patients are at the heart of everything we do and deserve the best care we can provide. In the few months that we have been in post we have implemented the use of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA), and raised awareness of its importance with both medical and nursing staff. We have been able to implement training programmes for new staff and support information governance training.

Through raising awareness of CGA we’ve improved patient experience and communication. We have been able to develop links with community matrons and Community MDT coordinators; this has improved the communication between primary and secondary care. Our plans are to improve even further on this by arranging hospital community interface MDT meetings. I’m sure this will enable us to support further training for all nurses, giving them some insight into how we can better improve collaborative working with community teams.

We’ve had fun recently raising awareness within the hospital of our dementia café, which is supported by volunteers and the Rotary Club. Poor turnout had left the Rotary Club feeling rather deflated, so we were asked what we could do to support them: we had a fab reminiscence day at the front of hospital, donning period nursing costumes and displaying memorabilia.

Our next steps are aiming higher: we hope to see all patients over 75 admitted to our hospital at point of contact, as suggested by the Silver Book guidance and the BGS. We’ve been supported with the purchase of a geriatric simulation suit which has proved to be a valuable training resource.

I love the variety and challenges that this role brings But most of all I enjoy the pleasure of training and education to improve awareness of the needs of older people. It is important that we act as patient advocates to raise awareness of the vulnerability of this patient group, and reduce the risk of hospital acquired harm. It is important that we remember that many of this age group have lived enriched lives: they deserve respect and dignity. 

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