Title of ArticleEvaluating the co-production of active ward principles in an inpatient setting: staff developments from using person-centred practice development
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sJuliet Harvey and Heather Cameron
ReferenceVolume 11, Issue 1, Article 8
Date of PublicationMay 2021
KeywordsHospital acquired deconditioning, participatory leadership, person-centred, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, service improvement

Background: In the acute hospital environment deconditioning is a major risk factor, with around 90% of the day spent sitting or lying down. A physiotherapy and occupational therapy Active Wards Special Interest Group was formed to provide peer support and act as a platform for sharing resources and ideas to increase opportunities for physical activity in the inpatient setting. Drawing on the nine principles of Practice Development, a person-centred, participatory approach was adopted. These values promote time and space for the team to grow and develop together, accounting for best evidence, personal and professional experience. The group co-produced a toolbox of resources, active wards principles and formed a group of experts to help others.

Aim: To evaluate the experience of staff engaging in this work with the objective of learning from the experience and make recommendations for replication and continuation of the improvement process.

Methods: Members of the special interest group and their team leads were invited to complete an online self-reporting questionnaire defining their experiences of participating in the group.

Results: Engaging clinicians in improvement through person-centred practice development processes delivers benefits for patients, services and clinicians. Key findings for staff development were identified as significantly improved (response rate of 78%) through i) active learning principles used for meetings, ii) effective and diverse communication strategies, and iii) group cohesion by engaging in a practice-based initiative. Group members and team leads observed personal, professional and service development. Participants made new connections, had a sense of a common vision and felt part of a collaborative process where ideas and feedback were shared. Where changes in patient activity levels had been observed, at least two-thirds of teams attributed this to having a team member in the group.

Conclusions and implications for practice:

  • Clinicians require adequate time, space and support to achieve improvements
  • When engaged with active learning and participatory approaches, clinicians make better use of meetings to develop and form principles of practice relevant to their clinical context and patient groups
  • Engaging in person-centred practice development processes enables clinicians to develop transferable skills
  • Practice development methods can be readily replicated for initiating and engaging clinicians in other practice-driven development projects

This article by Juliet Harvey and Heather Cameron is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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