Improving the patient environment
We continue to invest in improving our environment for patients, with a £2.8 million project underway to transform the main outpatients department, breast and gynaecology clinic and the creation of a specialist Infusion Suite, all at Ashford Hospital. At St Peter’s Hospital, the communal sitting area on our maternity ward has received a makeover and access for our disabled patients and visitors is being improved with works to the ‘blue badge’ holder parking and refurbishment of the main ground floor entrance.
We’re a top 40 hospital
We were recently nominated as a top 40 hospital by CHKS, a well-known independent organisation that works with healthcare providers to help them understand and analyse their data. Every year CHKS nominate their top 40 hospital list based on how well hospital Trusts perform on key criteria such as safety, patient experience and the quality of care and treatment. We are delighted to be rated as a top 40 hospital which should be reassuring to our patients.
Releasing time to care
… is a hospital wide project which looks at ways of making common ward processes and activities more efficient, so nurses and therapists can be freed up to have more time for direct care with their patients. New ways of doing our ward rounds proved particularly successful freeing up around 13 extra minutes of time every hour, which can be dedicated to direct patient care.
New focus on nutrition
The catering services at both our hospitals have been overhauled, with improved menus for patients, visitors and staff and a greater emphasis on good nutrition and specific dietary requirements for inpatients. Our annual Patient Environment and Action Team inspection achieved scores of ‘excellent’ for food at both hospitals. Going forward, this is now known as the Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE).
Listening and acting
Whether positive or negative, we continue to learn from what our patients tell us and the latest inpatient survey showed some good improvements in patient experience, particularly around nursing care. Going forward we are now using the new national Friends and Family Test as a barometer of what our patients think.
Getting it right for our older patients
Caring for older people, particularly those with dementia, poses unique challenges and last year we recruited a Lead Nurse for Older People to focus on this important patient group. Since her appointment, the Trust has launched the Butterfly Scheme – an ‘opt in’ programme that uses simple butterfly symbols above patients’ beds and on their notes to show staff if patients have dementia and want to request additional help and support.
High quality end-of-life care
Our palliative care team has worked hard to improve end-of-life care through a number of teaching and innovative projects. In particular, the team is working with the University of Surrey to support local care homes to provide good and confident end-of-life care to prevent people being admitted to hospital unnecessarily at the end of their life.