In order to become more patient focused, the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust developed the ‘patient journey’ approach, which was a ‘comprehensive practice development/service improvement’ model.Aim
For an ‘outsider’ (a newly qualified nurse with personal experiences as a patient) to implement a new patient journey in an unrelated hospital trust, to enable an impartial and independent evaluation of the model.Method
This was an action-research study, with data collected through a variety of sources such as matrix sampling, project team meetings, mapping and semi-structured qualitative interviews.Results
Participants spoke extremely highly of the care received, while interviews revealed more insightful and sometimes distressing information. A number of changes to service delivery were made as a result, including the introduction of a dedicated telephone line giving patients direct contact with the vascular nurse practitioner.Discussion
The most notable attributes of the patient journey approach are: giving patients a ‘voice’; enhancing collaborative multidisciplinary teamwork; shared ownership and decision-making; providing evidence to substantiate change; and achieving results.Conclusion
The City Hospitals Sunderland patient journey approach is an effective, patient-centred, collaborative service improvement model.