Supporting a Practice Development Unit

Title of project: Practice Development Unit (PDU) support

Lead library: Integrated Library Service, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Summary: The Clinical Librarian was invited to support the Wirral Renal Unit in meeting the required criteria for gaining Practice Development Unit (PDU) status accredited by the University of Leeds. The accreditation criteria required the Renal Unit to demonstrate commitment to evidence based practice and staff development.

Partner organisations: Wirral and Chester Kidney Service

Key Audiences: Multidisciplinary team involved in renal care in Wirral University Teaching Hospital.

“The story”:
Steering Group member
As a steering group member the Clinical Librarian attended all Steering Group meetings and offered updates on the projects the library was involved in, as well as bringing to the group details of new library services and resources.

Literature Searching support
The Clinical Librarian supported staff in identifying the evidence base on the following topics:

  • Evidence of the psychological impact on chronic dialysis patients
  • Examples of PDU accreditation processes in other NHS Trusts – problems encountered, lessons learned, impact and evaluation
  • Published literature about haemodialysis non-compliance, deviation from dialysis prescription, reasons for missed sessions and what effects this has on mortality
  • Evidence about the prevention and control of blood borne virus infection for renal dialysis Sexual Dysfunction in relation to renal patients
  • An overview of leadership styles, in particular transformational leadership

Journal Club support
The Clinical Librarian worked closely with the Clinical Nurse Lead who had an interest in research to establish a Journal Club. The team decided to take a more informal approach to a traditional Journal Club that would be inclusive to all levels of staff.
To many of the staff involved Journal Club was a new concept so some training in searching the literature, practicing critical appraisal and understanding some of the key concepts of evidence base practice was delivered.

Kidney Diseases blog
The Kidney Diseases blog was established in response to a request from the Renal Unit team for a way of collating and distributing alerts about the latest evidence, resources and news relating to kidney disease. Staff were also encourage to submit items for inclusion that they would like to cascade to colleagues, with the aim of reducing the quantity and length of team e-mail chains and also providing a reference point in which to share knowledge within the team. Staff continue to receive email updates from the blog.

Accreditation assessment visit
The Clinical Librarian submitted a personal statement to the assessors and delivered a verbal presentation and display stand on the day of the accreditation visit about library input to the project.

How the initiative or service is delivered: The project was led by the Clinical Librarian Service with support from library colleagues. The project involved promotional activity and attendance at steering group meetings, as well as providing a point of contact for literature search requests, training requests and general enquiries. It also required the Clinical Librarian to write a personal statement, present the involvement of the library service and be interviewed by the assessors during the accreditation visit.

Customer involvement in this piece of work – or service development? The project required the PDU leads to participate in activities to support evidence based practice within their team.

Benefits of this case – activity – service – for the customer: The PDU leads benefited from literature searching support, Journal Club support and current awareness services via a named point of contact from the Integrated Library Service to support evidence based practice and staff development. All of these developments were used as evidence in their accreditation submission.

Benefits for the library/libraries: The library service benefited from the opportunity to work alongside health professionals in actively improving service delivery. The project has resulted in a close working relationship with the Renal Unit and has raised the profile of the library service within the organisation as a whole.

Evaluation: The Leeds University accreditation team awarded the Renal Unit a full stage 2 accreditation.

Feedback: Extract from the final Accreditation visit report:

“The relationship with Victoria is a marvellous example of using her skills to bring new, credible evidence to the attention of clinicians. This work should definitely be written up and published in an appropriate journal as it provides wonderful evidence of the value of a clinical library service to the improvement of practice.”

“Victoria’s blog is a wonderful example of using the available technology to bring up-to-date evidence and research work to the attention of everyone quickly and conveniently.”

Marketing: Many of the staff involved weren’t aware of all the library services available to them, so the marketing approach was face-to-face contact with ward staff and PDU leads at the regular steering group meetings.

Collaborative working: An enthusiastic approach was taken from both the library service and the PDU leads. Collaborative working was helped by the clear criteria set by Leeds University which gave us a shared objective and timeline.

Funding streams: n/a

Lessons learned: The project established a good relationship with the staff working in the Renal Unit who continue to use library services.
The library service can successfully support teams applying for practice development status.

Sustainability; next steps: Although the team was successful in achieving accreditation status, the projects that were initiated are continuing to run, including the Journal Club and kidney diseases blog.

Sources of further information: Wirral and Chester Kidney Service

Start date: September 2008

End date: Stage 2 accreditation achieved in November 2009

Contact: Victoria Kirk, Clinical Librarian, 0151 604 7223

Related resources links:
University of Leeds School of Healthcare, Enhancing Practice

Date submitted: May 2010


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