Hospital Trust recognised nationally for Safer Staffing work

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust has received national recognition for its work to improve care for patients.

UHCW NHS Trust, which manages University Hospital in Coventry, and the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby, has been named by national organisation NHS Improvement on a new website page to share good staffing practice across the NHS.

Many hospitals use an approach called ‘specialling’ to care for vulnerable patients, including those at a greater risk of falls – staff assigned specifically to provide one-to-one care. In many cases, these ‘specials’ are expensive agency workers, and a review at UHCW found that this wasn’t always the best or safest way of caring for patients.

A new Enhanced Care Team was set up as a result. Staff were recruited to this team to work across the Trust, providing very vulnerable patients with one-to-one care during their stay in hospital.

Early results suggest that the Enhanced Care Team is already improving the quality of care for patients, as well as their experience in hospital. Patients’ and carers’ feedback has been positive, and there has been a reduction in the number of safety incidents involving vulnerable patients. Because the team is directly employed by the Trust, there has also been a significant reduction in agency costs.

Linda Abolins, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, said:
“We’re so proud of our Enhanced Care Team, and the excellent care they provide to our patients.

“It’s fantastic that NHS Improvement has recognised them in this way and that our learning is being shared with other Trusts.”

The Enhanced Care Team is just one of the innovative ways that UHCW is working to improve staffing across its hospitals. Other work includes the development of a smartphone application to help staff to increase the time they spend directly caring for patients, which has been shortlisted for a prestigious Health Service Journal Award.


Notes to editors

You can read the case study on the NHS Improvement website at this link: