Team work makes the Dickens and Sapphire ward merger a success

Date: 19 November 2016

Sapphire Ward team
Members of the Sapphire ward team

Portering patients, taking stock of all clinical and non-clinical equipment, returning all controlled and non-controlled drugs to pharmacy, migrating all IT, shutting down the kitchen and sending beds back to storage are just a few of the tasks that Chandra Elder, Senior Sister, and her team had to get to grips with in support of the merger of Sapphire and Dickens wards in March. The project was undertaken as part of a larger piece of work to increase efficiency and provide a better experience for our patients.

Merging the wards has created a dedicated area for patients medically fit for discharge but who need to have personal care arrangements in place before they can be safely sent home.

The 37-strong team includes Ward Clerks, General Nurses, Registered Nurses, Clinical and Non-Clinical Support Workers, Housekeeping, as well as Consultant Geriatricians, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. The team also draws on the support of other specialist services as needed, such as the Dementia and Delirium Team.

‘The decommissioning of a hospital ward is a complex and challenging project that takes detailed preparation and strong team work,’ said Chandra. ‘What I am most proud of is the way my team stepped up to it. Each of them took on a piece of the project as their own. By working together, and supporting each other throughout the project, they made it happen.’

When asked what she might say to someone needing to take on this kind of a project, Chandra had just one straightforward piece of advice. ‘It’s very simple. A project like this is about team work. Get your team involved to let them know what needs to be done, and then let each of them step up to own their piece of the project. Make sure you give each of them support and let them know how much they are valued, every step of the way. That is what made this a success.’

  • Summary:

    Merging the wards has created a dedicated area for patients medically fit for discharge but need to have personal care arrangements in place before they can be safely sent home.