The health service in East Devon said visits by senior nurses and midwives to talk with patients on every ward are ‘proving their value’, seven months after being introduced.

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The matron walk-rounds were first used by the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, which manages hospitals in Sidmouth and Ottery, in July 2012.

The system is in line with the ‘six Cs’ set out by England’s chief nursing officer Jane Cummings; care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

It means each ward at the trust’s 18 hospitals across Devon is checked regularly by senior nurses to speak to patients and staff and collate the feedback to identify trends where improvements could be made.

Tina Naldrett, who oversees nursing in the trust’s Eastern hospitals, said: “Seven months on, it is clear the matron walk-rounds have had a very positive and reassuring effect on patients.

“Patients appreciate the presence and visibility of a senior nurse and the opportunity to tell them in ‘live’ time about their care, which we can act on immediately.”

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