All in the day of a Chief Exec of an integrated acute and community trust! I’m continuing to get out and about across the Trust as much as possible meeting new faces and finding out more about our fantastic services.
I recently had a fantastic morning visiting the rehab team based down at Corbett Outpatient Centre and they have some wonderful ideas about how to improve the services across the community, particularly focusing on admission avoidance. Service manager Frances Pons took the time to show me the fantastic balcony garden which opened last year, providing a really serene, calm place for people to sit and take in the great outdoors.
I went on a home visit with Chloe a Neuro Occupational Therapist and I observed her in action undertaking a comprehensive assessment with a new patient. She was so caring and compassionate and it was good to see holistic person-centred care in action.
So with so much good work being done by all our staff, it is disappointing to see our National Inpatient Survey results for 2016. We are nowhere near where we want to be, so this will be a key priority for us this year. Listening to patients’ experiences is an essential factor in improving the quality of patient care and developing the health and wellbeing of patients and the local community. The Trust has identified improving the patient experience of its services as a key strategic objective and has also included it as one of six quality priorities to be achieved in 2017/18.
The Trust’s patient experience strategy has been developed to demonstrate our commitment to continually improving patients’ experiences, with the aim of being amongst the top performers in the National Health Service.
Over the past three years, there has been a significant increase in patient feedback that the Trust has collected. Most of the feedback received has been positive; however, actions have been implemented to improve areas where patients have identified that their experience could have been better.
So the areas we really need to make improvements to make sure our patients’ have the best possible experience include making sure they have enough information and understand and feel involved in their own care. Hospital food could be better and staff helping people to eat could be improved. We have protected mealtimes so please make sure you adhere to those in your areas which allows nursing staff to help those that need it at mealtime. You need to make time for patients, explain things in a way they understand and make yourselves visible on the wards for families and carers to ask questions too.
The number one thing patients say we can improve is communication. Whether that is explaining the risks and benefits of a procedure, or simply introducing yourself every time you speak to a patient and tell them what you are going to do. Remember, a kind word or a smile can go a long way to reassuring someone who is fearful or upset.
We have lots of exciting things planned to help us improve patient experience and let you, our staff, shine. We will soon be launching some new interactive reminiscence software, a kind of distraction technology that should really help keep patients who inclined to get upset about their surroundings calm. It also allows families to engage with the person’s care, allowing people to record messages that can be played back to their loved one when they are unable to visit.
There is so much good work going on we just need to show people how much we care about their health and wellbeing so that they can feel it. A fantastic example of staff going the extra mile to make Dudley a great place to work are the doctors who have been fundamental in the Nervecentre project. Both Adnan Agha and Hammad Bajwa have shared their passion for patient care through dedication to the Nervecentre project which allows staff to task medics electronically during the night rather than relying on bleep holders. The system allocates tasks and allows for a much better tracking system throughout the hospital at night for our doctors and means nursing staff do not need to bleep doctors to see how their task is progressing – they can check that it has been accepted at the touch of a button.