Patients asked what they need

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Noble’s Hospital is spearheading ‘CARE’ (Communicate, Ask, Respond, Evaluate) which has been adopted as a way to improve the plight of patients throughout the Department of Health.

The initiative is based on the ‘fundamentals of care’ that are, in the health service’s jargon, ‘important to the experience of patients’.

It means they are helped to feel safe and comfortable, have enough to eat and drink, and are involved in the care they are given.

The CARE round, every two hours, involves patients being asked specific questions, and staff trying to identify what needs to be improved.

Health bosses say this approach can result in a significant reduction in the time patients wait for call bells to be answered and the number of falls patients experience all aiding a speedier recovery and a reduced length of stay.

Patients and relatives are aware of the next time when staff will be available to answer questions.

The CARE round reduces the risk of social isolation for patients being cared for in side rooms, ensures that patients always have fresh drinks and food when they need it and that their pain, if they have any, is managed effectively. The overall benefit is an improved hospital experience for patients, as well as increased staff satisfaction.

CARE rounds were piloted in five ward areas across the hospital. The pilot ran for four weeks after which the impact was evaluated receiving positive feedback from patients and staff. CARE rounds will be introduced throughout Noble’s Hospital integrating this initiative as part of everyday practice.

The patient and public representatives from the Patient Safety and Quality Forum have been instrumental in developing workshops in ‘delivering excellent customer care’ to complement the introduction of the CARE rounds.

The sessions, delivered over the course of two weeks in October, were designed to deliver key customer services standard messages in a relaxed but structured way, reiterating the impact of effective and ineffective communication in all care settings.

Jayne Kerruish, senior nurse, said: ‘The Forum worked closely with our patient and public representatives in developing the workshops and implementing CARE rounds.

‘It is abundantly clear how the standard of customer care, clear communication and effective response must meet the patient’s needs. The CARE round will greatly affect the confidence, trust and positive experience of patients in our care. It is vitally important to listen to and learn from our patients in order to maintain high standards. We should be ready to adapt and adjust if perceived customer expectations are not met.’

Bev Critchlow, director of nursing, midwifery and therapies, said: ‘The experience that our patients have in hospital is of critical importance to us. Our patients have an expectation when they come into hospital that they will be safe and comfortable and that we will care about them as much as we care for them. The hospital-wide CARE round initiative is a way for us to strengthen this message with all our staff and to reiterate the role that each and every one of us plays in the patient experience.’

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