Swansea University and Local Health Boards develop Pioneering Practice Innovation Network
The College of Human and Heath Sciences at Swansea University has launched a new network to improve clinical and practice development in collaboration with two local health boards.
The Practice Innovation Network (PIN) was formed between the Abertawe Bro-Morgannwg University Health Board, Hywel Dda Health Board and the Department of Nursing at Swansea University and aims to share ideas and resources for mutual benefit and for the common good of practice development in nursing and healthcare.
The Practice Innovation Network consists of a number of Practice Innovation Units that will work together across a number of different hospitals. A Practice Innovation Unit (PIU) is an area where Nurses and other Health Professionals are taking an active lead in developing new ways of working to improve patient care.
This may involve a number of projects which will run over several years and could result in several others.
The activity will be coordinated and managed by senior practitioners from both Health Boards and the University’s Department of Nursing.
The first accredited PIU about to start its activities is at the Abertawe Bro-Morgannwg Health Board.
Dr Dave Barton, Head of the Department of Nursing at the College of Human and Health Sciences, who is leading the project from Swansea University, said: “Advanced Nurse Practitioners on a Rehabilitation Medical ward in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board are working across both general and community hospital settings. They take responsibility for the clinical management of a group of patients by leading the discharge planning process, diagnosing, ordering and interpreting investigations and administering treatment.
“Over a 12 month period, the Advanced Nurse Practitioners reviewed 408 patients and made direct referrals to rehabilitation beds bypassing a stay on an Acute Medical ward. This resulted in 6579 acute bed days saved and a 38% reduction in the length of stay for patients.”
He added: “Within the community hospital setting, the Advanced Nurse Practitioners reviewed 76% of acutely unwell patients during a three month study. Sixty per cent were able to be managed by the Advanced Nurse Practitioners within the community hospital setting. These patients would have traditionally accessed a callout from the medical team or alternatively would have been transferred back to the hospital.
“Advanced Nurse Practitioners have also taken over the management of the rehabilitation referral system from consultants. This has freed up around 20 hours per week of consultants’ time whilst simultaneously making more appropriate use of hospital services.”
The current projects are research led and is expected to result in collaborations and publications between Swansea University and the world of clinical practice and patient care.
Two more Practice Innovation Units are currently being planned.