NZ's biggest hospital undergoes 'nursing revolution'

A new programme implemented at Auckland Hospital has increased the time nurses are spending bed-side while giving patients more of a say in their care.

A new programme has more than doubled the real time nurses are spending bedside. Source: 1 NEWS

The changes are part of a new British programme called 'Release to care' which outlines ways nurses can spend less time on paperwork and more time caring directly for patients.

So far, two of the hospital's wards are up and running with the changes.

They include handovers to the next shift being done at the patient's bedside, increasing equipment available in each room and displaying important information on status boards which are kept with each patient. The changes are set to roll out across the rest of the hospital soon.

Auckland District Health Board charge nurse Katie Quinney says the programme has dramatically increased the amount of time nurses spend with patients.

"When we started the programme our percentage of time we were spending with the patient was 29 percent. The last time we did the recording it was 77 percent," she says.

Chairman of the Auckland DHB, Dr Lester Levy, has embraced the changes, saying they're helping to make nursing "an exciting vocation again".

Auckland DHB Nurse Stephanie Jones agrees, saying the changes have improved her job satisfaction.

"We get to spend more time with our patients and that's what I trained to do," she says.