'What matters to me today' - patients personalise their care


Posted on Friday 4 April 2014
Named nurse board

(from left) ward sister Joyce Kakala and patient Doreen McManus

Hospital patients are telling staff what matters to them the most and personalising their care thanks to innovative new bedside boards at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

The specially designed whiteboards, which sit beside the patient’s bed, are updated daily by staff and patients to include the names of the nurse and doctor looking after them and personal details like a favourite drink, preferred name or bed time.

All wards across Guy’s and St Thomas’ are now using the boards, which have already made a noticeable difference to patient care.

Doreen McManus, 73, from Southwark had been a patient at St Thomas’ for five weeks after a fall when the boards were introduced.

She says: “The boards have made a real difference to my experience in hospital.

“Doctors come round and say ‘hello my name is…’ but you’ve got so much on your mind you soon forget who they are! With the board next to my bed I know who is looking after me each day.

“I’ve written on my board that what matters to me today is having a good session with the physiotherapist as I’m determined to get walking again. Having the board not only keeps me up-to-date but it gives me something to aim for.”

In 2013, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said that all hospitals should display the name of the nurse in charge of each patient’s care above their hospital bed.

Ward sister Joyce Kakala came up with the idea to display this information in an interactive and accessible way to give patients easier control over their care.

Joyce says: “The boards give patients the opportunity to tell us what is important to them. Sometimes it’s the smallest details that make the biggest difference and have a real impact on their care and recovery.

“Names of nurses and doctors used to be displayed above a patient’s bed, a difficult place for them to see. These boards can be easily seen from all areas of the patient’s bed space and can be moved around to suit their position.”

Chief Nurse Eileen Sills says: “Frontline staff are often best placed to come up with great ideas to improve care because they have contact with patients everyday. It’s fantastic to see the positive effect these simple boards designed by our nurses are having.”

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