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Research project

Evaluating the ten year impact of the Productive Ward at the clinical microsystem level in English acute trusts (NIHR HS&DR)

  • Lead researcher:
  • Research funder:
    National Institute of Health and Care Research
  • Status:
    Not active

Project overview

The 'Productive Ward: Releasing Time to Care' programme was introduced in English NHS acute hospitals in 2007 to give ward staff the tools, skills and time needed to implement local improvements to (1) increase the time nurses spend on direct patient care, (2) improve the safety and reliability of care, (3) improve staff and patient experience and (4) make structural changes on wards to improve efficiency. Evidence of whether or not these goals were met and sustained is very limited. This multi-method study set out to explore if Productive Ward (PW) had a sustained impact over the past decade.

We concluded that little robust evidence remains of PW leading to a sustained increase in the time nurses spend on direct patient care or improvements in the experiences of staff and/or patients. PW has had a lasting impact on some ward practices. As an ongoing QI approach continually used to make ongoing improvements, PW has not been sustained, but it has informed current organisational QI practices and strategies in many trusts. The design and delivery of future large-scale QI programmes could usefully draw on the lessons learnt from this study of the PW in England over the period 2008-18


Lead researcher

Professor Peter Griffiths

Chair in Health Services Research

Research interests

  • Health workforce
  • Epidemiology
  • Nursing

Research outputs

Sophie Sarre,
Glenn Robert,
Jill Maben,
& Rosemary Chable
, 2020 , Nursing Times , 116 (3) , 27--29
Type: article
Sophie Sarre,
Jill Maben,
Rosemary Chable,
& Glenn Robert
, 2019 , Health Services and Delivery Research , 7 (28) , 1--172
Type: article
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