Patients, families and carers helped by one stop shop

Quality improvement co-ordinator Julie Abberley

People who want to know all about our community nursing teams and the help and support they offer, can now find all the information they need in one place online.

Online, patients, their families, carers and health professionals can discover what the teams do, the health professionals who make up the team and how to access help. In addition, there are packs and leaflets, which can be downloaded and details of how to get in touch.

There is also information available on where to go for further support, with links to Age UK, Dementia UK and Carers UK websites and sign posting to additional help that might be available, covering mental health, hospices, support for carers and more.

The web page, on the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust website, was put together following consultation with patients, their families and carers as to what information they would like it to include. It complements information that was already available on the website and can be found here

The project was led by Quality Improvement Co-ordinator, Julie Abberley, who worked closely with the trust’s Digital Communications Manager Andrew Crouch.

Julie said: “I worked for the Canterbury Community Nursing Team for a number of years and recognise the incredible work the nurses and the administrative staff do every day for our patients.

“During this time, I was caring for my mum who was at the end of her life. I wanted to give her the best quality of care in her final days.

“I could only find some online information via the trust’s community nursing web page. I was on the phone constantly asking lots of questions of my community nursing colleagues, who were extremely supportive, when it would have been easier to find some of the information online. This got me thinking.

“I decided to work on the content of the web page so that others in the same position would be able to have accessible online information for patients, relatives and carers.”

Julie is qualified in quality improvement (QI) methodology and is a quality, service improvement and redesign (QSIR) practitioner.

She said: “I set out my plan and started by brainstorming a list of stakeholders who would be needed for the project, which included staff from the community nursing teams, other service professionals involved in patient care and more importantly our patients and service users.”

Julie sought guidance from those who use the Community Nursing Service during a virtual meeting of a trust community engagement group.

She said: “I presented, then waited for comments, which promoted discussion, listening to every word and acknowledging everyone’s input. The patient feedback was constructive, insightful, kind and prompted lots of great ideas to improve the web page even further.”

The improved web page went live in August 2020 and is a work in progress as Julie is aiming to make it even better. Visitors to the page are asked to complete a feedback survey and to suggest anything else they would like to see there.

Julie’s (QI) project started in January 2020 and will be finished by the end of September 2020. The QI tools she used included driver diagrams, PDSAs and brainstorming.

Julie is one of the trust’s QI gurus in east Kent, promoting the benefits of using QI tools and methodology and is an expert in using Life QI, the portal the trust uses to log all QI projects.