Matrons rule, OK.

Posted: May 30, 2010 in General


Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust came into the spotlight three years ago when it was discovered by health watchdogs that up to 90 patients had died of Clostridium difficile between 2004 and 2006 across its three hospitals: Maidstone, Kent and Sussex, and Pembury, in Tunbridge Wells.

A report by the Healthcare Commission said nurses at the trust were too rushed to wash their hands and that patients were left to lie in their own excrement.

In 2008, health chiefs made the decision to put power back in the hands of ward sisters. Since doing so cases of C diff have reduced by 60 per cent and MRSA by 33 per cent.

Flo Panel-Coates, director of nursing at the trust, said sisters are now the leaders of their wards and guardians of patient care. “They now have up to three days protected time each week to physically lead improvements on their wards and enhance the patient experience,” she said.

The trust has also freed up sisters’ supervisory time by employing more nurses on each ward to cover for the time they would normally spend on direct patient care.

NHS bosses say it means sisters are now better able to monitor standards of care, such as cleanliness, incidents and errors, pressure ulcers and vulnerable patient care.


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