A hospital which is to remain open after being threatened with closure is looking to develop its Patient Forum.
The Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, which specialises in orthopaedic and ophthalmic surgery, has a small Patient Forum – but now that the hospital future is secure it is keen to invite more former patients to join the group.
“Our Patient Forum is more than a box-ticking exercise,” said Patricia Warwick, Hospital Director at Peninsula. “Members of the Forum help us to continually improve the way we do things, offer valuable advice and experience and, most important of all, are happy to speak to prospective patients who want to know more about the treatment they are to receive. The Forum is vital to the ongoing development of this hospital.”
The longest-standing member of the Patient Forum is Bob Thomas, 70, a life-long Plymothian. Bob came to Peninsula as a patient three years ago to have his left hip replaced. As a former engineer who ran his own business, Bob brought with him a wealth of experience in processes and how things run.
He said: “As a member of the Patient Forum I’ve advised on many aspects of the hospital, from how the building is run to the food, the operating theatres, reception, pretty much everything. It is great that the management team are happy to listen to our ideas and are grateful for our input, and it is satisfying to work with an organisation where the staff aren’t peripheral to the process but are an integral part of it.”
He added: “We really hope that more former patients will join our Patient Forum. It’s absolutely fascinating and a great opportunity to see how a hospital works. This hospital is streets ahead and I am so pleased that the decision has been made to keep it open.”
Another member of the Patient Forum is Mary Budge, 68, a retired nurse from Tavistock. Mary has had both her knees replaced at Peninsula and is now active on her electric bicycle, raising money for a charity caring for slum children in India and visiting there to see how the charity works.
She said: “I never thought I would walk properly again, but the team at Peninsula got me back on my feet and it was an excellent experience – great food and wonderful care. That’s why I was pleased to join the Patient Forum. As a former nurse I know about infection control and patient care, and Peninsula excels at both. It is good to be able to contribute to the hospital’s success, and to help reassure new patients who may be concerned about their visit.”
She added: “If any former patient is in two minds about joining the Forum, I would say ‘go for it.’ It’s a great way of being involved and helping others.”
Anyone wishing to join the Patient Forum at the Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre can pick up an information pack from reception, or call 01752 506070 to have one posted to them. More information about the hospital is available at www.peninsulatreatmentcentre.nhs.uk.