Community nurses get a boost from new kit bags | Innovation stories

Community nurses get a boost from new kit bags

CPFT community nursing teams have won national funding for new branded bags to organise essential kit for care visits and save them extra time and travel.

After spotting a multipurpose kit bag designed and developed by NHS nurses, they applied to NHS England’s Healthier Futures Action Fund to request 40 bags for two nursing teams covering Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, which will improve care delivery and efficiency.

CPFT’s winning bid was coordinated by Dr Emily Faulkner, Business Engagement and Clinical Innovation Manager, and Isobel Wilkerson, Associate Director of Nursing and Quality at the Trust.

Emily said: “We worked with the nursing teams to identify a simple innovation to overcome community care challenges, save money, prevent infection, and reduce the Trust’s emissions by avoiding unnecessary journeys to pick up medical supplies. Trials in other NHS Trusts have shown the bags reduce trips back to base and to car boots by up to 90%, so more time can be spent with patients and more visits in the community.”

The blue mobile kit bag and black boot bag (pictured in use) include colour-coded insert bags and compartments, to organise all the stock nurses need to carry with them into patients’ homes and keep in the boot to cover all visits. The bag system helps nurses to identify and plan their essential kit, keeping a standardised inventory of all the dressings, medications and infection control equipment they use.

Jessica McPherson-Armstrong, Area Nursing Manager said: “The Isle of Ely District Nursing Team are very excited to trial the community kit bags. They should improve continuity of care for our patients and improve the team’s efficiency. The bag is lightweight and fully infection control friendly, so it can be sanitised easily after each visit. The bags provide a standardised kit which will improve stock and resource management whilst also benefiting patients by ensuring our nurses have all the right equipment available for every visit, saving time and fuel spent driving.”

This community kit bag initiative is one of many bright ideas and improvement projects running across CPFT to support staff to deliver excellent care and ensure services make the best use of resources. It supports the Trust’s strategy to reduce waste and emissions, while improving care for people in the communities we serve.

The Healthier Futures Action Fund was set up to support the NHS ambition to become the world’s first health service to commit to net zero emissions. NHS staff up and down the country are already pioneering sustainable healthcare solutions, and this funding is helping even more NHS Trusts to get involved and kick-start innovative initiatives to improve health and patient care, reduce inequalities, and deliver good value with a more sustainable health service.

Applications opened earlier this year to all NHS organisations and NHS employees, including Primary Care Networks, GP practices and health and social care providers. Following a careful assessment process by independent panels of climate change, health and sustainable healthcare experts, the Greener NHS team has awarded funding to around 70 applicants including CPFT.

Find out more about how the NHS is becoming more sustainable on the Greener NHS website:

Photo (L-R): Isobel Summers, Advanced Community Nurse Practitioner and Hazel Kelly, Community Nursing Sister.

Healthier futures action fund graphic

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