Country's top nurse to meet staff and patients in Southampton

The country’s leading nurse will meet staff and patients at Southampton’s teaching hospitals today (Monday) to find out more about pioneering bedside research.

Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, will talk to medical staff and ward leaders about innovations in nursing care at Southampton General Hospital before opening a new on-site clinical academic facility.

A joint venture between the University of Southampton’s faculty of health sciences and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, the centre will focus on research on the frontline, including in infection prevention, pressure ulcers and nutritional support.

The development follows a number of successful initiatives across the Trust, including a new monitoring system for falls and bed sores, which led to a 25% reduction in the number of serious pressure ulcers and 30% drop in harm caused by avoidable falls within eight months.

The two institutions also jointly conducted the UK’s first clinical assessment of the benefits of volunteer mealtime assistants for older patients to measure the level of impact ahead of a possible nationwide rollout of the scheme.

In addition, a project to increase the use of bladder scanning for patients with urinary retention, led by Jacqui Prieto, a senior clinical academic research fellow at the University of Southampton and practising nurse, and the infection prevention team at UHS, removed the need for catheters, which account for 79% of urinary tract infections, in 53% of cases.

Judy Gillow, director of nursing at UHS, said: “Through our constantly expanding partnership with the University of Southampton, we really are pushing the boundaries of nursing care to provide the best possible experience for patients and I am delighted we are able to share some of our innovations with Ms Cummings.”

Professor Jessica Corner, dean of health sciences at the University of Southampton, added: “This dedicated space will act as a ‘hub’ for our doctoral and postdoctoral clinical academic programme and is designed to develop first class clinical researchers to focus on essential care that matters most to patients and the NHS.

“Working with our partner NHS organisations, our aim is to form a thriving clinical academic community to develop curiosity, creative drive and the robust research skills necessary to develop and improve patient care."

Posted on Monday 28 January 2013