Care homes hydration project

The project aimed to encourage residents to drink more fluids and bring about a reduction in UTIs requiring medication or hospital admission by introducing seven drinks rounds every day

On 1 July 2016 a 7-structured drinks round was introduced into four care homes (150 residents) in the Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead area in partnership with the Oxford Academic Health Science Network. The aim of this project is to reduce the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in care home residents which require antibiotics or admission to hospital.

Summer drinks trolley
Summer drinks trolley

Method

The project was undertaken in three residential homes and a nursing home with a total of 150 beds. They had the highest UTI admissions to hospital in the region over the previous three years. Areas of improvement were identified in February 2016.

Hydration training was delivered to care home staff who designed and delivered structured drinks rounds. The trolleys were bright, inviting and offered multiple options of drinks, cups and glasses.

Themed trolleys were encouraged and staff were creative in their design. The PDSA cycle shows the full list of interventions.

Data was collected on:

  • Compliance with drinks rounds
  • UTIs requiring antibiotics
  • UTIs requiring admission to hospit
PDSA Cycle
PDSA Cycle

Results

The project achieved a 33% reduction in UTI hospital admissions and six months after the project there have been no UTI hospital admissions at all. The number of calls to GPs and UTIs needing treatment with antibiotics also fell within all four care homes.

The initiative has now been extended to nine more care homes in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Hospital Admissions 300x192

Feedback

The following feedback was received from a focus group involving all four care homes:

  • A positive experience being part of the project
  • Some residents ask for their drink if we are late
  • A resident who had a UTI every six weeks used the drinks diary (had capacity) and realised how little they were drinking. Increased fluids of own free will. Improvement noted in walking, social interaction and has been UTI-free for over eight months
  • Noticed improved skin integrity and fewer falls
  • Fewer GP visits
  • Greater understanding within staffing groups of importance of hydration
  • No major increase in cost or time commitment – just a different way of working.

Recognition

This study won three national PrescQIPP awards – Best Interface, Best Patient Safety and the overall Best Innovation Gold award (voted for by attendees), October 2017.

Left is Katie Lean, Patient Safety Manager at Oxford AHSN (project lead for Oxford AHSN), Centre is Carol Roberts, CEO of PrescQIPP, right is Sundus Jawad, Prescribing and Care homes support Pharmacist and NICE Medicines and Prescribing Associate (project lead for CCGs).
Left is Katie Lean, Patient Safety Manager at Oxford AHSN (project lead for Oxford AHSN), Centre is Carol Roberts, CEO of PrescQIPP, right is Sundus Jawad, Prescribing and Care homes support Pharmacist and NICE Medicines and Prescribing Associate (project lead for CCGs).