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Table 5 Priorities for research to improve fundamental care on hospital wards

From: Determining priorities for research to improve fundamental care on hospital wards

Research themes (rank position after voting) Views from the consultation
1. Nurse staffing
- Having time (eg. member of staff taking time to find carer, time to do complete care)
- Lack of time (eg. to respond to call bells, care undone)
- Nurse workloads
- Sufficient time for staff to be able to take breaks
- Improving staffing levels
- Use of agency staff (to cover shortages)
• When asked about care that had not gone well−28 % of survey respondents referred to staffing levels
• Most frequent response to the question ‘if we could focus on just one factor care which would it be?’ (30 % selected it-twice as many as for other topics. It ranked ranking it no.1 out of 14)
• Staff were more likely (37 %) than patients/public (14 %) to refer to ‘Nurse staffing’ as a priority topic
2 = Individualised patient care
- Assessing patient care needs (fully)
- Individualised care plans to meet patient needs (less reliance on standardised protocols)
- Appropriate clinical care
- Holistic/patient centred care
- ‘Putting the patient first’
- Clear care plans
- Treating the person not the condition
• This wasn’t listed as one of the ‘pre-set’ topics, but came up frequently in people’s answers on good and bad care, and what differentiates the two
• Staff & patients/public both see this as key issue in good care (referred to by 32 % in the survey)
• It emerges as an ‘over-arching theme’ to which all of the other topics connect
2 = Staff Communication (generally)
- Between health care professionals
- Sharing information between staff
- Patient education: what to expect & how to have a say in their care
- Style of communication-patient, skilful
- Staff listening to patients
- Honesty in communication
• Came up as a key issue in both staff and patient discussion groups
• It was the most frequently discussed issue in relation to both good (43 %) and poor care (49 %)-and is the single issue accounting for most responses.
• High ranking topic in response to ‘if we could only focus one topic’ (13 %) and had highest average research priority score (4.4 out of 5 for patients/public, 4.5 for staff)
• Large proportion of patients/public refer to staff communication as factor when care has not gone well (60 %, vs 45 % staff)
4. Staff attitudes & relationships with patients
- Ethos and values
- ‘Care’ about patients
- See patients as people
- Maintaining compassion in staff
- Relational care
- ‘defensive medicine’ (making decisions on basis of being able to ‘defend’ them, rather than judgement of what is best for patient)
• An issue that came up as a theme in the patient/public discussion groups (closely linked to the communication themes)
• The second most frequently cited issue raised in relation to quality of care-33 % refer to it in when talking about care that’s gone well, 31 % in relation to poor care.
5. Information about care/communication
- Between staff and patients/carers
- From patients to staff
- Provision of information to patients
- Informed consent procedures
- Information (eg. using prompt sheet)
• One of the 3 topics that got highest ‘priority’ score (for both patients and staff-scoring 4.3 out of 5)
• Some overlap with staff communication ‘generally’