A new welcome for patients

Thursday 14 June 2012

A nurse and patient looking through the welcome pack

A new pack to help patients feel at ease during their stay which encourages them to become more involved in their care has been launched today.

Responding to patient concerns about a lack of information, Guy’s and St Thomas’ is providing a comprehensive ‘welcome pack’ for any adult inpatient who is admitted for more than 24 hours.  

The packs include everything a patient might need to help make their stay as comfortable as possible, from a dignity pack containing ear plugs, an eye mask, hand wipes, toothpaste and a toothbrush, to non-slip socks to help reduce falls.

An updated welcome booklet gives patients more information about what to expect when they are in hospital, including details on ward routine and the health professionals they are likely to meet during their stay. It also provides an overview of what will happen on the day patients are ready to leave hospital.

A card will be used for the first time to explain the most common safety factors that patients should be aware of including medicine safety and preventing infection and blood clots. The aim is to encourage patients and visitors to have more meaningful conversations with staff and to not be frightened to ask questions if they have any concerns.

Chief Nurse Eileen Sills said: “We know that being admitted to hospital can be a daunting and frightening experience.

“We have listened to our patients and rather than just updating our welcome booklet, we have put together a pack which we hope will alleviate some of the fears of being admitted to hospital, be able to answer questions and contain items that patients will find useful or may have forgotten.

“We want to encourage greater dialogue between patients and the staff caring for them. There is a lot of information in the pack, and we hope that patients will feel empowered to ask questions if they feel unsure or concerned about anything during their stay.”

One of the first patients to try it was Thomas Jones from Westminster who is on Anne ward. He was given the pack by Alicia Molina, staff nurse. He said: “The packs are a really good idea, in fact excellent. They’re well presented and the information reflects the reality of what actually happens on the wards.

“It is such a simple thing but has made my stay more comfortable.”

Alicia said: “The packs will help patients during their stay. It can be difficult for some patients to sleep with all the noise going on so the eye masks and ear plugs will help.”

“The pen and pad is useful if they want to write down anything,” added Alicia.

Another patient, Herbert Nichols from Lambeth said that he thought the packs were a “really good idea.”

Last updated: June 2012

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