Cumbria hailed as at the ‘cutting edge’ of quality improvements

A world respected health leader has congratulated the NHS in Cumbria describing efforts to improve quality as ‘cutting edge.’

Professor Brian Dolan visited the county this week to talk about the importance of patients’ time in healthcare and hear about exciting work that’s happening across the county. 

Professor Dolan has started a number of campaigns that focus on making sure patients are not in hospital any longer than they need to be and their time is not wasted. The first of these, #endPJparalysis, was launched in Cumbria earlier this year and aims to get patients up, dressed and moving to speed up their recovery and maintain their normal routines. 

Teams from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) have been working together to introduce changes like this that make better use of patients’ time. Barbara Pinguey, specialist physiotherapist at NCUH, explained: 

“Staff from across the Trusts have the ideas and enthusiasm to make a difference. By focussing on patients’ time and how we can make sure it’s not wasted, we can make changes that make a real difference. This isn’t about targets or paperwork, it’s about providing the best possible care – it’s why we come to work every day.” 

The talk coincided with the launch of the next campaign, Red2Green, at NCUH. This is a national initiative to identify delays in care and make sure that all days patients spend in hospital are ‘green’ days that get them a step closer to home. It has already seen results in Penrith Hospital, reducing the average stay by nine days.

Professor Dolan chose Cumbria as one of only a handful of places to visit in the UK following the success of these initiatives: 
“What I have loved about visiting Cumbria today is the passion the staff bring and the mutual respect they show each other between their professions and organisations. The staff have support from their leadership teams and there is a real focus on celebrating success. The two Trusts in Cumbria are at the cutting edge of quality improvement and they understand the importance of time to their patients. I am truly blown away by what I have seen here today.”

Professor Dolan also got the chance to see ‘Dance Recall’ in action which involves dance therapy for elderly patients to get them moving in a fun and nostalgic way. 

Dr Andrew Brittlebank, Medical Director at CPFT, added:
“This is about frontline staff having support from leaders to go out and make a difference. A lot of what we’re talking about is really simple but it’s already showing results. There is so much passion, energy and enthusiasm from staff and we need to harness that. By working together I’m confident that we will continue to see more great results like this in Cumbria.”