Releasing Time to Care: The Productive Ward - the story so far ...

Background and Aims

mriwithpatient.jpgThe NHS Institute has found that ward nurses in acute settings spend an average of just 40% of their time on direct patient care. Recent research by Nursing Times also shows that nearly three in four ward nurses say that is not enough and 90% of those polled say that patient care suffers as a result.

The Productive Ward is an innovative and practical programme of work which aims to help turn around this situation by releasing time to care.  More than that it's a systematic and inclusive approach to improving the reliability, safety and efficiency of the care that you deliver.

By creating a really strong focus on the processes of care within your ward setting the Productive Ward will significantly increase the proportion of time you spend providing direct care to patients, improve the experience of both staff and patients and organise your ward so that space works for you rather than against you – saving you time, effort and money.  



Productive Ward consists of a range of structured modules, enabling you to make improvements at a pace that suits your ward and organisation. Your ward teams will learn simple but effective techniques that offer dramatic results in healthcare settings and importantly, they will lead and control the improvements themselves.   Click here to find out more about the modules.

Hospitals currently involved in the Productive Ward programme, and plans for the future


Productive Ward has been developed by the NHS Institute in close collaboration with the original four hospital test sites, ten NHS learning partners and two whole hospital sites; the Institute has worked extensively with these NHS ward teams to refine the modules so that the finalised programme reflects the wealth of learning and experiences gathered from the other hospital sites.  The modules are now available to the wider NHS and can be order via this website.  

Sean Manning, NHS Institute senior associate on the Productive Ward programme, explained the collaborative process which led to the final module structure and content in a recent interview with the HSJ: "We worked closely with all these trusts for six months on these different journeys, learning what they thought of the draft modules and their impact on areas such as infection rates and staff costs."

He continued: "We also saw how the learning partners progressed with limited support and how whole hospital sites attempted to get Productive Ward permeating through their organisations." 




If you have a specific question about the programme please contact