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Practice development

BU has facilitated improvements to health and social care practice through cultural change in care provision. Our researchers have developed a practice development framework for implementing and assessing the delivery of evidence-based practice in 82 UK health and social care units since 2008.

Benefits to staff include better communication and team structure. Benefits to patients include higher standards of cleanliness, privacy and dignity, as well as a decrease in length of hospital stays and appointment waiting times. Delivery has been extended to cover entire NHS Trusts serving a resident population of over 3.5 million, social services departments and third-sector organisations across the south of England and beyond. The research has since been applied to develop a similar system in Australia.

What do we mean by practice development?

Practice development is a broad term that covers a range of approaches to health and social care improvement work. It is patient/client focused, and uses processes based on teamwork and collaboration.

Who do we work with?

We work with local residents, communities, voluntary organisations, businesses, acute hospitals, G.P. surgeries, Primary Care Trusts, social services, and local authority departments. Whatever your needs are, we can help.

Practice development enables individuals and teams to develop better ways of working and: 
•    Develop new approaches
•    Bring about a positive change
•    Improve the quality of life for residents, patients and carers.

Practice Development Unit (PDU) accreditation

We offer PDU accreditation to a variety of organisations. Through accreditation, teams are encouraged to question and challenge current practice and, by using current evidence, improve services. The practice development programme ensures the evolution and sharing of proven best practice. Successful accreditation promotes robust excellence in practice. Download our leaflets on PDU accreditation (pdf 2.84mb) and re-accreditation (pdf 641kb) to find out more about the benefits to your organisation. 

What are the benefits of PDU accreditation?

The PDU process results in a structured approach to support practice innovation with a clear vision for the future and that embraces:
•    Patient/client focus
•    Team development – building practice and creating multi-agency/disciplinary teams that support staff motivation and commitment
•    Opportunity for cultural change
•    Evidence-based practice
•    Support by an academic centre
•    Peer assessment against nine criteria.

For further information about how PDU accreditation works, view our flow diagram (pdf 78kb) on the accrediation process.