WDHB presents to national Releasing Time to Care forum

26 March 2015
Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) staff attracted strong interest at last week’s national Productive Ward forum in Wellington when presenting the board’s successful implementation of the Releasing Time to Care programme to Whanganui Hospital’s Surgical Ward and acute mental health unit Te Awhina.
One of six of the country’s 20 DHBs invited to present to the forum, the WDHB is recognised for its commitment to establishing a work environment that supports nurses to analyse and change the way they work so they can spend more time with patients and deliver safer care.
WDHB nurse manager Katheryn Butters says Releasing Time to Care (RTTC) is all about enabling staff to focus on the internationally recognised programme’s four principles and improving ward processes around:
  • patient safety and reliability of care
  • the patient’s experience
  • staff wellbeing
  • ward efficiency.
Ms Butters says during the past year, Whanganui Hospital’s Surgical Ward has focused on using both the Releasing Time to Care and the Care Capacity Demand Management (CCDM) programmes to better meet patients’ needs by having the right people, in the right place, at the right time with the right tools to deliver safe effective care.
During a visit to the WDHB last week, Safe Staffing Healthy Workplace Unit director Lisa Skeet said she was very impressed with the work and results achieved by the Surgical Ward team.
Ms Skeet said by combining the two programmes (RTTC and CCDM) had enabled ward staff to diagnose process and system issues, and plan and implement improvements.
Ms Butters says it is no coincidence that the Surgical Ward had seen a 33 percent decrease in patients who fell while in their care between 2013 and 2014 due to the effort staff have put into falls prevention and spending more time with their patients.
Results from the national patient survey showed 100 percent of patients who received care in the Surgical Ward were treated with respect and dignity. And, that a recent survey had shown staff satisfaction has increased significantly with staff feeling they contribute to a successful team.
Ms Butters is a strong supporter of Releasing Time to Care having introduced it to Te Awhina where seclusion and restraint has reduced by 53 percent since 2010.
“We are proud that Te Awhina nurses have more than doubled the time they spend with the people they care for thanks to the improvements implemented with Releasing Time to Care,” Ms Butters says.