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April 28th 2017

Gavin Boyle

This has been a really special week at Derby Teaching Hospitals.  It got off to an exciting start with the launch of our very first Patient Experience Week.  Paul Brooks, our Head of Facilities, and Megan Roworth, from our Patient Experience Team, got the ball rolling by hosting a workshop for leaders from across the organisation looking at how they could improve the experience of our patients. It was also an opportunity to launch our new mobile video booth, which blog readers might remember me mentioning a while ago. We’re going to use this to capture patient stories, which will help us reflect on the things we can do provide a better service for all our patients.

As part the week we ran a competition encouraging all wards and departments to think about what they could do in their area to give patients a better experience.  There were prizes up for grabs for those areas with the best ideas and Deputy Chief Nurse Jim Murray hosted our very own Oscars on Friday afternoon to announce the outcome. 

And the winners are….

  • Ward 6 at London Road Community Hospital, who want to create a ‘snoezelen’, a pop-up sensory space with special lighting, sound, things to touch, smells and tastes, which will provide a soothing experience for our patients with dementia. The team received a thousand pounds to help them turn their idea into a reality.  
  • The Clinical Measurement Team had an idea to develop an interactive screen providing information for patients about waiting times, staff working on the day and maybe some interesting facts about what they do. They hope it will make the waits between tests to make the wait a bit more bearable.  They also won a thousand pounds to develop their idea.  
  • There were also prizes for our extremely enthusiastic Labour Ward team, who have lots of great of ideas for improving the experience of mums using their service.  They won a hamper for their creatively presented Patient Experience board. 
  • And last but not least, Ward 204 won a hamper after being judged to have the best content on their board. They have a plan to improve the social and psychological wellbeing of their patients by making the day room more enticing. They had lots of ideas, including providing complementary therapy and relaxation techniques, beauty treatments, and offering themed events aimed at promoting mobility and interaction, particularly for some of their longer staying patients. They also want to involve our volunteers in more of the work they do. 


So, back to the start of the week! As part of my continuing mission to meet with all of our most recently-recruited consultants it was a pleasure to catch up with Dr Claudia Whale, one of our palliative care doctors.  Claudia is an experienced consultant and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the department. We’re delighted to have her on board.  She is mostly based down in our Macmillian Cancer Unit, and she has invited me to come and spend a morning in that area with her and her colleagues and patients to help me get a really good understanding of the work they do there.  Hopefully we’ll have this sorted in a couple of weeks or so and I’ll let you know how I get on.  

Appraisals have been on my mind again this week and I have nearly completed these for each of my executive colleagues.  This is such an important conversation to have about how we can work together to do an even better job. Remember if you’ve not had yours yet – have a word with your line manager.

This topic was top of the agenda when I joined the ‘Leading from the Front’ development programme on Wednesday to say a few words.  This is a leadership development programme for colleagues from across the Trust which provides an important developmental experience, and gives them the chance to come up with some recommendations about how our hospitals could be improved.  They had some good ideas about how we can encourage more of our colleagues to really value the benefits of appraisal and suggested we ought to include this as part of our induction programme. One team had an idea to provide a simple template to foster and encourage productive team meetings by starting with something positive to get everybody in the right frame of mind – I started this recently with my own exec team meetings and it’s really worked!

Finally, another team had some great ideas about the visibility of senior leaders within the Trust and how this it’s a fundamental part of any leader’s responsibility to be on the shop floor really understanding and listening to their teams.  I was delighted to be invited along and I was impressed by their enthusiasm. I agreed to take their recommendations away and discuss them with the exec team to see if we can help to support putting them into practice.  

All in all another busy week! The focus on patient experience has been great fun, but also hugely worthwhile in getting everybody to think about how they can make their moment with each of our patients really matter.  

I am conscious that it is another long weekend so once again thank you to all of our colleagues who will keep our hospital running over the Bank Holiday. I hope everybody gets at least a little bit of time to relax and spend with friends and family.

Best wishes 


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