Implementation of the National Early Warning Score in UK care homes:a qualitative evaluation

Russell, Siân and Stocker, Rachel and Barker, Robert Oliver and Liddle, Jennifer and Adamson, Joy and Hanratty, Barbara (2020) Implementation of the National Early Warning Score in UK care homes:a qualitative evaluation. British Journal of General Practice, 70 (700). e793-e800. ISSN 0960-1643

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BACKGROUND: The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is a tool for identifying and responding to acute illness. When used in care homes, staff measure residents' vital signs and record them on a tablet computer, which calculates a NEWS to share with health services. This article outlines an evaluation of NEWS implementation in care homes across one clinical commissioning group area in northern England. AIM: To identify challenges to implementation of NEWS in care homes. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with 15 staff members from six care homes, five health professionals, and one clinical commissioning group employee. METHOD: Interviews were intended to capture people's attitudes and experiences of using the intervention. Following an inductive thematic analysis, data were considered deductively against normalisation process theory constructs to identify the challenges and successes of implementing NEWS in care homes. RESULTS: Care home staff and other stakeholders acknowledged that NEWS could enhance the response to acute illness, improve communication with the NHS, and increase the confidence of care home staff. However, the implementation did not account for the complexity of either the intervention or the care home setting. Challenges to engagement included competing priorities, insufficient training, and shortcomings in communication. CONCLUSION: This evaluation highlights the need to involve care home staff and the primary care services that support them when developing and implementing interventions in care homes. The appropriateness and value of NEWS in non-acute settings requires ongoing monitoring.

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Journal Article
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British Journal of General Practice
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© British Journal of General Practice 2020.
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17 Dec 2020 15:20
Last Modified:
11 May 2022 07:19