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Mansfield nurse ensures care is delivered as patients want it

Posted onPosted on 14th Jan

A project, led by a Mansfield nurse, to ensure patients at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre receive the support they want has been launched following a six-month survey of patients.

The Always Events scheme was devised to ensure that patients could explain what was important to them. This has enabled the team to create ways to guarantee every patient can experience the same high levels of care.

The team surveyed each patient who underwent surgery at the centre in Lindrick Way, over a six-month period, and analysed the results to identify what changes patients wished to see.

Elaine Bodle, the centre’s head of nursing, said: “We analysed the results and we invited a group of patients to join the Always Event co-design team, which included patients and their carers or partners as well as team members.

“Patients told us that, during the consultant’s or nurse’s rounds, they sometimes felt confused and forgot questions they wanted to ask. The Always Event project identified a simple way to give patients the opportunity to ask questions during rounds.

“Now we give every patient a short question sheet and a pen to keep by their bed so, whenever a question comes to them, they can write it down. By taking this simple step, patients have their questions to hand and we can work through them all with them. This ensures they feel included in the decision making about their care.”

The survey also revealed areas of concern around discharge: being given realistic estimates of when they would go home; understanding their take home medication; and having a contact number for any concerns.

Elaine said: “We remedied these by including people in the decision about when they would be discharged; by creating a simple to understand and use take-home chart for medications; and we also provided every patient with a 24-hour contact telephone number that links to a member of the team who can help with their concerns.”

The team also produced information to incorporate the frequently asked questions that the survey revealed, in order to allay any fears or concerns that patients may have prior to their admission and their post-operative recovery.

The information is being added to the centre’s website and a booklet will be produced so that those patients who do need and want more information prior to obtaining a GP referral can receive the information needed to address their concerns.

The project was a great success. Feedback from staff and patients around the improvements has been positive and returning patients have reported the changes as positive to their experience.

Hospital director Steve Booker said: “The centre has been known for its pioneering medical innovations. What I particularly like about the Always Event initiative is that it shows just how effective small changes can also be, if you communicate with patients and empower colleagues to find workable solutions to improve the service.

“Thanks to the hard work of everyone here, our current patient approval rating now stands at 99.5 per cent.”

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