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October 20th 2017

Gavin Boyle

So, how did my Friday 13th night in the Hospital go? Well I’ll tell you in a minute. But first we started the week with some amazing news with our ED team being awarded the prestigious national Clinical Team of the Year award by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. This is particularly special because it’s 50 years since Emergency Medicine was first recognised as a speciality in its own right and the first time that this award has been given. It recognised not only quality of the multi-disciplinary clinical care given but also the team’s ceaseless innovation to improve patient care and how it supports its people. Well done to Dan Boden and his team this is a really special award for a group of very special people.  

I was delighted on Tuesday morning to be invited by Shaw Poxon our Senior Nurse for Shared Governance to attend a development session with a group of colleagues from Ward 405 who are developing a shared governance approach seeking to put in place the nuts and bolts needed not only to deliver our PRIDE ambitions but to also make our CARE values of compassion and kindness a reality. It was a pleasure to hear their stories and how they were grappling with some of these challenges on a day to day basis. One of the things we talked a lot about was the multi-disciplinary nature of the ward team and it was agreed to include a wider range colleagues including doctors, housekeepers, discharge support officers, therapists etc. Looking after our patients really is a team effort and all types of professionals have a unique contribution to make.

Later that day I was invited by Jim Murray to give out the prizes of our “Take Action – Don’t Fall” competition, this follows last week falls awareness event. For someone falling at home or indeed a patient falling within the hospital this can be a life changing event. We want our patients to be mobile because it helps them to get better quickly and helps protect them from other harms like VTE (clots) but at the same time we want to protect them from the risk of falling. Thanks to so many wards and departments who got involved and particularly to the prize winners Ward 404 and runners up Pulvertaft Hand Unit but to be honest everyone who took part on such an important issue were winners as far as I’m concerned. 

Another area where we’re trying to improve our patients experience is meal times. Megan Roworth from our Patient Experience Team was doing a stock take this week – Perfect Dining Week - to see how we’re doing at the moment in this important area. She asked me to pop up to Ward 410 to talk to some of the staff and patients about their particular meal time experience. I was delighted to see so many staff involved in making sure patients had a good experience and the help they needed if necessary. It was good to see the ‘protected meal times’ in operation and to see the nutrition assistants helping those patients who for a variety of reasons find it difficult to enjoy their meal. Nutrition and hydration are such an important part of our patients’ recovery - so thumbs up to all colleagues getting involved in making this part of our care better. 

So just a quick round up of everything else I’ve been doing this week, so we’ve had the Trust Induction on Monday, our Burton/Derby Strategic Collaboration this week and the STP Board all about our partnership here in Derbyshire and I also went to see the Southern Derbyshire District Council to talk about the merger. And on top of that I had my Flu jab! Simone Goller, Specialist Nurse did the honours and I didn’t feel a thing. So go on it’s because your worth it! 

Finally, my night in the Hospital with Dr Sam Thacker as my guide. One of the real privileges of my role is the opportunity to get behind the scenes of the hospital and see how clinical services are delivered. This was a really special night for me and I enjoyed it immensely. I did try to get a bit of sleep before going on shift at 8pm but it wasn’t possible and I have huge respect to colleagues who make that switch from daytime life to working nights, it’s a lot more difficult than you might think! I spent some time with the Hospital Out of Hours team – this is a multi-disciplinary group which supports all our medical and elderly wards at night - it includes night nurse practitioners, doctors from both surgery and medicine and support workers too. I was really impressed by the way that they organised their work and shared out the very many jobs efficiently between them according to their different skills. I got a real sense that they worked as a team and it was a relief when I found out that at 2am they all get back together for a “Safety Huddle” but importantly for me, a bit of lunch too! It gave me huge confidence to know that this team are here out of hours keeping our patients safe – well done to them! 

Next stop, Sam took me down to the Medical Assessment Unit; this is where patients who require admission come either from A&E or directly from their GP. The work here never stops and all through the night new patients were arriving who needed to be ‘clerked’ – that is a full medical history taken, an initial assessment of their condition and the beginning of any necessary tests and treatments. Sam worked diligently seeing each patient in turn and carefully completing his task. I did nod off at 4am but with a quick poke from Sam I was back on my feet! I spent a bit of time with the irrepressible Sister Sue Dennis and her MAU triage team – a few minutes in their company certainly put a spring back in my step. Thanks to Charlie who gave me a bag of nuts to keep me going! This team receives patients as they arrive in the department and makes a rapid assessment of their condition, making sure that those most in need are seen as a priority. 

All in all it was a fantastic opportunity to see how the hospital works when most of us are tucked up in bed. I have huge admiration for the staff that I met. Sam and I are going to get together for a cup of coffee in the next few days and try to capture some of the key learning from this experience and how we might use it to support our colleagues out of hours better. 

And finally, finally, Happy Diwali to all my Hindu, Sikh and Jain colleagues and readers. This is a special time of year which celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and in these somewhat turbulent times this seems more relevant now than ever. 

Have a great weekend. 


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