How we put patients first

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Staff Nurse Karen Jackson and Patient Alan Short talking to each other

Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse, explains some of the ways in which we ensure high quality care:

“Providing the best possible care to our patients is our priority. To do this we monitor daily the needs (acuity) of patients on each ward to ensure there are sufficient numbers of trained nurses and nursing assistants at all times. This ensures that staff have time to listen to patients and relatives, and to deliver safe, responsive care.

"We have also taken practical steps to improve care, such as hourly ‘comfort rounds’ on wards to ensure that patients have appropriate food and drink and the call button is at hand. This also means that patients and their relatives know that they have regular opportunities to speak with staff if they wish to.

"We have renewed our commitment to fundamental care such as washing, feeding and drinking, and less obvious needs such as checking patients’ hearing aids and cleaning their glasses.

"Patients who need extra help eating or drinking are given their meals on a red tray and water in a red-topped jug to ensure staff are aware of their needs.

"We are introducing ‘dignity pegs’ with the word ‘engaged’ clearly visible to clip bedside curtains to protect patients’ privacy.

"These initiatives are in addition to established activities such as the ‘Safe in our Hands’ briefing. This is our regular Friday meeting where senior nurses come together to discuss any issues from the week so that we can learn from each other and share best practice.

"As part of our local response to the Francis Report, more than 2,000 staff across the Trust took part in open meetings and focus groups. They told us what we do well and what we needed to improve.

"This feedback from staff, as well as our governors, helped us to develop our Showing we care strategy, in which we make commitments to our patients about the quality of care they can expect if they are treated in our hospitals or being cared for by our community services in Lambeth and Southwark."

Last updated: November 2013

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