A multi-purpose kit bag system to overcome district nursing challenges.
The community team at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provide assessment and treatment services to patients throughout the Tees and North Yorkshire and they were made aware of an innovation, developed at North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for a kit bag used by nursing staff.
South Tees were keen to evaluate the bags and embarked on a service improvement project with support from innovation and quality improvement.
Community staff make many visits to patient homes throughout their working day and need to have the necessary kit available.
They use a variety of bags and boxes to store the kit usually at their own expense and which are not necessarily fit for purpose.
Innovation became aware of kit bags developed by North Tees and provided the detail to the associate director of nursing community care to ask if they were interested in the bags and would like to evaluate them as part of a service improvement work.
The kit bags were launched by NTH Solutions which were designed by nurses, for community care practitioners being the result of passionate collaboration between the district nursing and infection control teams at North Tees, the multi-disciplinary kit bag system is designed to overcome the challenges of using ‘bags for life’, carrying excess kit and having kit to hand.
The community team at South Tees agreed to evaluate the kit bags on a short term basis with a number of their staff roles within the community in a two part evaluation.
With assistance from the quality improvement (QI) team the community team benchmarked what, and how they store and use, their kit by collating data and taking photos of what their car boots.
The team were then provided with kit bags and were given a suggested kit stock list and a demonstration by NTH Solutions on how the kit bags can be used.
Outcome or impact
The team received positive feedback from the staff who took part in the evaluation with comments around reducing ‘back to base’ visits and ‘back to boot’ therefore saving resources of both time and cost, with the team feeling better organised and streamlined and improving space and use of vehicle storage.
They also felt the bags gave an improved sense of professionalism and identity.
The pre-trial survey received responses from seven members of staff and the post-trial survey received eight responses members of staff.
Some staff also provided photos which were taken of their vehicles boots before and when using the kit bags.
The surveys used scoring between one to ten (where one is worst and ten is best) and were taken by users prior to the use of kit bags and after using kit bags.
What was the key feature of the bag system that you felt made the biggest improvement to the day-to-day function of your job? Responses.
- The large bag for boot which had other bags within kept boot very tidy.
- Liked that everything was tighter which was more efficient.
- Well organised and streamlined boot. Able to know exactly what to take in. Quicker working as able to locate things quickly. Time saving.
- Grab bag easy to use with equipment needed for visit i.e., blood pressure machine, sats probe, thermometer and all equipment in one place.
- All equipment was very organised and available.
- The thing that made the most improvement in my day-to-day working was the storage bag that stays in the boot. I found this easy to use and it improved the space in my car boot considerably. I also found that due to its size it stopped me from carrying too much stock in my boot which I tend to do and this is why my car boot gets overloaded. I found using the three separate bags inside for bloods/dressings/catheter equipment was helpful as I could go straight to the bag I needed.
- Reduction in car boot storage/equipment. It was great to have spare equipment at hand in the patient’s house. Allowed more clinical time without extra trips to base for equipment.
“Well organised and streamlined boot. Able to know exactly what to take in. Quicker working as able to locate things quickly. Time saving information”.
Was there anything about the bag that hindered your ability to carry out your job properly? If so, do you have suggestions as to how we can improve this? Responses
- The large blue bag to take into the home was too large, possibly have ruck sack type bag.
- The blue bag was too large, a smaller bag would be easier to carry.
- Maybe a larger dressing bag to be able to have a few ksoft and klite.
- Smaller bags not big enough for all dressings needed, if patient has double legs amount of dressings needed not able to fit in bags.
- I found the large bags heavy and clumsy, zips stiff although I am aware they are new.
- I did not like using the blue bag that we take into visits. I found this to be very heavy and bulky and there were occasions using it that I knocked some things off shelving etc. in patient’s homes with it. I did not find this bag helpful to carry my computer in as I cannot close the lid on my laptop as it loses connectivity and I have to shut it down and start it up from scratch. Also I only used this bags section for the sterile field twice. This was because the patient’s homes did not appear that clean but honestly, I didn’t really want to use it at all as it meant the bag laying on an unclean surface too and took a lot of cleaning when finished. This is also the reason why I didn’t use this section of the bag to kneel on to carry out any intervention. Although I found the storage bag that stays in the boot useful (as documented above) the one criticism I have is about the separators in the three bags. The one I kept my dressings in didn’t have large enough sections to keep some of the larger dressings in that we travel with and the one I kept my bloods equipment in I was able to section the items until I had to stand it up to put in the storage bag, then all the equipment fell to the bottom as the separators weren’t strong enough to keep them in place.
- I used the kit bag for each shift I worked the week I was trialing it. I did not incur any back to base or back to care trips as I ensured I had everything needed in my bag to assist the call I was doing. I used the sterile field at each visit, which I found extremely helpful especially during these COVID times.