Patients at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre near Chesterfield spent national Dignity Action Day telling teams what they think about the service and finding out more about how Care UK, which runs the centre, plans to promote dignity and choice even further.
On Friday 1st February, inpatients and outpatients at the centre were asked what they felt was important to them, what dignity means and how the team can help to improve the service they receive.
Sandra Swarbrook, clinical service manager, said: “We were delighted that patients were very positive about the service. A recent independent Dr Foster Hospital Guide report said that 96 percent of patients were satisfied with the service they received. But real dignity cannot exist unless you listen and act on what patients tell you on an on-going basis, which is why we used Dignity Action Day to once again ask people’s views.”
Inpatients at the centre that serves people throughout the South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire areas, mainly gave feedback on the food and, while they were generally happy, responses included a desire for comfort food such as chips and bacon butties and provision of mugs rather than cups of tea. There were also comments on specific issues, such as one from a patient who wanted to see her dog and one about disturbance from a noisy clock.
Sandra said: “I am delighted to say that we were able to reunite the lady and her dog but at the same time adhering to Care UK’s stringent infection prevention and control procedures. The lady is with us for several weeks and now her husband can bring the dog to the foyer, at off-peak times, and we take the lady down in a wheelchair to see her pet. All three are very happy with this arrangement.
“Sadly, we have not been able to move the clock but we have provided the gentleman with earplugs. We understand hospitals will have noise at night, because of machinery and ward rounds, so we try to make those patients who struggle to sleep as comfortable as possible and we have a stock of very comfortable earplugs.”
As for food, Sandra said: “We have to offer a balanced diet. We offer meal choices that incorporate cultural and religious requirements. We are always happy to review our menus.”
Patients attending the outpatients department told the team that their biggest fears before coming to the hospital are pain management, the outcome of the operation, hospital infection, loss of independence and dignity and being away from their families for a few days.
Sandra said: “We find most of these fears melt away once they come into the hospital. We have an excellent record in hygiene. In eight years, we have had no cases of MRSA. We try and make visiting times as flexible as possible so that families can visit and we provide lots of information before surgery.
“We offer patients an opportunity to speak to representatives from our patients’ forum who have previously undergone surgery at the centre. We also encourage people to meet their surgical and nursing teams at appointments before their admission.
“We have DVDs for patients undergoing hip and knee replacements, to not only explain what will happen, but to show them exercises that will enhance their recovery. We continuously strive to use clients’ views to help our teams to further improve patients’ care experiences in the future.”
Team members from Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre also wanted to share their views on the importance of dignity with patients. Sandra said: “Jane Cummings, England’s new chief nursing officer, has said her intention is to restore public confidence in the profession, saying it is imperative the public believe nurses will offer them safe and effective care.
“To do this, she suggests that teams and individuals display the six ‘Cs’ in order to promote excellence in care and the maintenance of dignity. They are; care, compassion, commitment, communication, courage and competence. We asked our teams to submit what the six ‘Cs’ mean to them in their work. Their thoughts are displayed in the outpatients department and are a commitment to how they will continue to uphold dignity at the centre and beyond.”