Visitors to nursing homes throughout Walsall borough can now play their part in helping to reduce avoidable harm among residents thanks to a new leaflet that has been produced to support a successful safety initiative.
The SPACE – Safer Provision and Caring Excellence – initiative is being pioneered by the Walsall Quality Improvement Project, a partnership between Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group.
Its focus is on supporting nursing home staff to reduce avoidable harm such as pressure ulcers, falls and community acquired infections. This partnership has resulted in the production of a new visitors’ leaflet which advises nursing home residents’ friends and family how they can help ensure their health, wellbeing and safety.
Caroline Maries-Tillott, Walsall Quality Improvement Project Lead Nurse said: ”The Patient Safety Collaborative has sponsored this initiative which is just one of the ways we are trying to engage with the public to encourage them to support nursing home staff.
“The leaflet advises how visitors can help their loved ones avoid falls by making sure they’ve got appropriate footwear for example and how they can encourage them to eat and drink which in turn prevents them from developing water infections and lessens their chances of pressure ulcers. There is also advice on infection prevention as well as information to support those receiving end of life care.
“It is so important that we all work together with our nursing homes, The staff have a lot of responsibility and are caring for people who often have complex conditions and challenging behaviours. If visitors are clear right from the start about how they can help so that their loved one is protected as much as possible from avoidable harm that has to be worthwhile.”
The leaflet was launched last year at the Nursing Home Forum and has also been presented to the CCG Board and to West Midlands Care Association. Walsall Council’s social care chiefs are also keen to introduce a similar leaflet for residential home visitors.
Yvonne Higgins, Walsall CCG Assistant Director Quality and Safety, added: “As a CCG we are delighted to have worked collaboratively with our partners on this valuable initiative. Providing visitors with information on how they can be involved in helping to reduce harm within our nursing homes is a really positive step and is one aspect of our ongoing quality improvement project – SPACE.”