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NTH Solutions: The Community Kit Bag 

Conceived by nurses, designed by nurses, and used by nurses, this successful innovation is already in use in 20 trusts. The initial collaboration between infection control specialists and district nurses from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust was further developed by NTH Solutions to offer a nationwide improvement in safer care in the community. This innovation is in line with NHS England and NHS Improvements national safety priorities – particularly improving organisational patient safety practices.

Community nursing services play a valuable role in delivering a wide range of nursing interventions during community patient visits, but they also faced safety and management challenges. Until this multi-purpose portable Community Kit Bag was developed, community care staff were expected to manage infection control measures in many unique environments by arranging their own organisational system for the transference of medical supplies.

A plan was formulated, and our innovation team collaborated with community nurses and IPC specialists and created a design that was quickly transformed into a prototype kit bag system that complies with Infection and Prevention Control, streamlines transportation of medical supplies, and transforms efficiency and safety for patient care whilst on the road.

We initially implemented the use of the Community Kit Bag with community nurses within our parent Trust. After sharing the success rate with fellow regional Trusts, we received positive responses and support in conducting further trials.

An initial trial we facilitated involved 275 patient visits with a mix of Community Nurses and Health Care Assistants. Every nurse completed a questionnaire to compare the efficiencies and cost savings. We found that each nurse could also save 72 hours in back-to-base trips and 32 hours on back-to-boot annually. Our innovation team tested and ratified necessary measures with the continuous involvement and word-of-mouth feedback from community nurses at every phase for efficacy.

Early trials indicated a 30% increase in patient visits that could save the NHS approximately £2,386 per community nurse annually.

Since launch we’ve worked on widening the product portfolio to meet market demand, (including the provision of international enquiries such as Australia), and to meet the needs of other healthcare teams such as paediatrics, audiology and palliative care.

In order to facilitate the needs of our community colleagues working in densely populated areas new models of the kit bag system include a version on wheels and with backpack straps are now also in production.

Response from users has been overwhelmingly positive and several community nurses have uploaded glowing accounts on Twitter, praising the multi-functionality of the Community Kit Bag in improving efficiency, identity enhancement, and most importantly infection prevention. There was a widespread outreach, with the kit bag featuring prominently (internationally via Forbes magazine) and, from NHS England’s Clinical Reference Group for community nursing.

“My Kit Bag is a mobile equipment cupboard. It allows me to be professionally prepared to deliver safe, effective patient care.”

  • Moraig Orpen, District Nurse & Practical Development Lead at North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

https://nthsolutions.co.uk/services/community-kit-bag/

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