Critical care outreach: A valuable resource?

Jaime Hyde-Wyatt, Joanne Garside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Critical Care Outreach Services (CCOS) were recommended by the Department of Health in the United Kingdom in 2000. Despite being an established service, research studies have not explicitly demonstrated its efficacy. Aim and objectives: To explore the impact of CCOS from the perspective of hospital ward staff to inform service improvement potential. Design: A pilot formative process evaluation was used to meet the study aims, including the development of a self-completion questionnaire. Methods: The exploratory questionnaire was distributed to a purposive sample of clinical staff (health care assistants, nurses, therapists, and doctors) on two medical and two surgical wards to establish the value of CCOS from the perspective of ward staff. Results: The questionnaire was distributed to 195 staff members, of who 58 replied (30%). A descriptive analysis of quantitative data and content analysis of free-text responses demonstrated that staff knew how and when to use the service, that it was highly valued by all members of the multidisciplinary team, and that CCOS were perceived to have diverse responsibilities. Service improvement suggestions included increased staffing and longer hours of operation. Conclusions: Despite the lack of quality research supporting the efficacy of CCOS in previous research studies, the results of this project support the findings of previous evaluations that the value of the service lies in the support offered to ward staff and in the quality of care provided to patients. Relevance to clinical practice: Because of the size of this evaluation, it was impossible to draw any generalizable conclusions. However, results clearly indicate that value is given to the support that the Critical Care Outreach Service provides to ward staff.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalNursing in critical care
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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