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Scottish nurses create innovative local methods of patient review

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Community nurses in Scotland are being encouraged to come up with innovative ways to review patient care.

The Health Secretary Alex Neil has tasked all health boards to implement a quality assurance process for nursing care that suits their services. The Scottish government's chief nursing officer, Fiona McQueen, will work with local nursing directors to come up with locally appropriate ways of reviewing patient care.

This scheme builds on work by the Scottish government's quality strategy to support senior charge nurses to be clinical leaders and to improve safety and quality.

Mr Neil visited NHS Forth Valley to hear about how nurses have already implemented assurance systems to improve care. They have created visual dashboards, which gather improvement and performance data, which informs interventions to enhance quality and safety of patient care. These dashboards speak to other health boards and across healthcare settings.

Mr Neil said: 'We have already developed clear standards to support strong clinical leadership for Scotland's nurses. We will build on that by continuing to recruit the best people, using out groundbreaking workload planning tools to get the right staff in the right place and give every nurse the support and training they need.

'Not only does the NHS [in Scotland] now have record levels of nurses but we also have the essential building blocks in place to ensure quality and care are at the heart of everything nurses do.'

Professor Angela Wallace, director of nursing at NHS Forth Valley, said: 'Nurses in Forth Valley have been at the forefront of developing and implementing this important system which provides accurate and up-to-date information on a number of key quality and safety measures. It helps us to monitor our performance on a day-to-day basis and supports a wide range of work to improve the care and experience of patients.'

The quality assurance processes will cover nursing and midwifery within all hospitals and community services in Scotland.

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