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Small changes make a big difference in service pledge by breast unit

Published 01/02/2016
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Staff in the Breast Unit at the Royal Derby Hospital have vowed to improve services for patients, after signing up to a pledge scheme run by the charity Breast Cancer Now. 

Former patients have helped to form an action plan laying out small changes to improve the experience of coming for treatment.

From updating the welcome board to reviewing the information on appointment letters, the changes are small, but it is hoped they will make a big difference.

Consultant Surgeon Carol-Ann Courtney, Assistant Clinical Director for Breast Surgery, said: “We were overwhelmed by the positive response we received from patients, but it was helpful to hear about the small changes they thought we could make. I hope patients will feel the benefit of what we’re doing. Patients are in a vulnerable place in their lives when they come to us. Hopefully, these simple changes will make a difference to their care.”

The pledge was officially launched this week, with the support of Breast Cancer Now and patients who had been involved in the process. Catherine Wood, from the charity, presented staff with a plaque to mark the occasion

Charlotte Day, who has now completed treatment at the Breast Unit, said: “It’s a few little things, but I think it will have a big impact on patients. It has to be positive.” 

Increasing the amount of information shared is an important aspect of the action plan developed through consultation. Patients said they wanted to see more information and advice on appointment letters, learn more about how breast surgery would affect their appearance and find out how they could link with other breast cancer patients. Plans are now in place to make changes in these areas.

Another important change involves shutting off a thoroughfare which runs past a waiting area where patients are dressed only in gowns. Some patients said they felt vulnerable and exposed in this area, so the corridor has now been closed, and staff must walk a longer way around.

Changes will be rolled out over the next year, and will be tracked by a team at Breast Cancer Now.

More than 70 services have now signed up to the Breast Cancer Now service pledge.

 

Breast pledge
Last Modified 16/02/2016