Hydration Project in care homes in partnership with Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead CCG

On the 1st July 2016 a structured drinks round was introduced into 4 care homes in the Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead region as part of the hydration project.   The overall aim is to reduce the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in care home residents requiring antibiotics or admission to hospital.

The tests of changes are noted in the PDSA below:

Baseline data was collected for the 2 months before the project officially commenced using safety crosses.  A red sticker indicated if a resident had a UTI requiring admission to hospital, an orange sticker indicated a resident requiring antibiotics for a UTI and a green sticker was an incident free day.

The training was aimed at all staff including nurses, care workers, activities coordinators, managers and nutrition advisors.  It covered the anatomy and physiology of the urinary system, the importance of hydration and how to recognise dehydration, the effect of certain medications on the kidneys and how to implement a structured drinks round.

Each care home chose the times that would best suit their care home routine and the aim was to achieve 7 structured drinks rounds per day.  This information was collected by the member of staff undertaking the drinks round by noting it in the allocated folder.   At the end of each day the number of drinks rounds were noted at the end of the page and the manager collated the information on a weekly basis.

A year into the project 2 care homes have consistently achieved 100% compliance with their seven daily structured drinks rounds and have demonstrated a reduction of the incidence of UTIs.  The graph below notes the number of UTIs requiring antibiotics per quarter per care home.  It is important to note that when examining the data one unwell resident can have multiple UTIs in the month due to other exacerbating conditions.

The following feedback was received from a focus group involving all 4 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 6 weeks used the drinks diary (had capacity) and realised how little they were drinking. Increased fluids of own free will. Improvement noted in walking, interaction socially and has been UTI free for over 5 months
  • Noticed improved skin integrity and less falls
  • Less GP visits
  • Greater understanding within staffing groups as to why hydration is important
  • No major increase in cost or time commitment – just a different way of working

Below are examples of some of the trolleys designed by care homes to undertake their structured drinks rounds.

This project is now being adopted through Oxfordshire, East Berkshire (Slough) and discussions are in process with Chiltern CCG.

Copyright 2017 © Oxford Academic Health Science Network
Designed and built by Web @ OUH