Thursday, 21 August 2014

Making a difference in Children's Outpatients

Sue Kilar, Deputy Sister in Nottingham Children’s Hospital’s outpatients department

Every year more than 40,000 children will find themselves in our department, so there is a high chance that your child or one of their classmates may well have been through our doors. We are one of the busiest places in the hospital, dealing with everything from broken bones and post-op check-ups to long-term conditions like eczema, diabetes or cystic fibrosis.

Fortunately, the vast majority of children that have contact with the hospital will never need to go any further than our clinic rooms, so for most people we really are the face of the Children’s Hospital.

For those that go on to be admitted to the wards, we will usually be their first port of call in the hospital, so the experience they have here can influence their whole outlook. Our team are experts at ensuring that children and young people feel comfortable in our care, and that they feel fully informed about what their treatment will entail.

We all work really hard to ensure that the environment is as child-friendly as possible. We hold regular themed days and have guest visitors to keep people entertained while they are waiting. Just last week we held a heroes and villains day where staff dressed up and a storyteller came in.

I have worked as a children’s nurse at QMC for 28 years in total, covering a range of areas in that time. What I really enjoy about outpatients is that you have a chance to make a difference to how children view hospital – and hopefully help to keep them out of here as much as possible!

On a ward you are concentrating on getting patients better, but here you are concentrating on them not becoming ill in the first place. Our role is very much about prevention and educating patients and their families. Many have long-term conditions and need to attend hospital once or twice a week, so you get to know them really well. It is great seeing these youngsters grow up and progress, and satisfying to know that our work helps to stop them from needing more serious treatment.

I’m really proud of our team. Working in outpatients is a busy, demanding role and their dedication and commitment makes a difference to the lives of so many people.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Patient Partnership Group blog - August

The Patient Partnership Group (or PPG for short) has an important role to play at NUH. It is made up of a group of patients and staff who come together monthly to offer a view on Trust issues – to give a patient voice.
This month working together with staff we have:
  • Presented at an NHS England event where we shared good practice and described how we have involved patients in the implementation of the ‘friends and family’ test at NUH. This was a fantastic opportunity to spread of learning and experiences with the wider NHS and enabled me to give the patients’ perspective – click here to view our presentation.
  • Participated in Think Clean inspections, which are an opportunity for patients to get involved in the Trust’s programme of work to ensure high standards of cleanliness as we put the spotlight on the environment in which patients are cared
  • Commented on the essence of care benchmark scores and criteria – this is another way in which patients are involved in ensuring good standards of care and safety are delivered at our local hospitals – by looking at areas such as nutrition and hydration and documentation
  • We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in the ‘events in the tents’ to give our voice. We are pleased to see the way feedback from the events is being communicated and actioned quickly. Click here for a summary of the feedback from the events.
  • Embedding support and involvement of Carers throughout the organisation is one of our areas of focus for improvement this year. So we were very happy to be asked to join a short task and finish group to help make the Carers Policy real and meaningful at NUH to get this work going. At our first meeting we focused on defining and identifying Carers.