Epsom and St Helier hospitals have won a national award for their Patient First programme – an initiative that helps to ensure each and every patient is at the absolute centre of how the hospitals work.
At the prestigious HPMA (Healthcare People Management Association) awards on Thursday 18 June, staff from the hospitals picked up the special achievement award for work on patient experience, just 18 months after the programme was launched.
Jackie Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer and the Executive lead for the Patient First programme, said: “We are so pleased to have won this award! Our Patient First programme is a credit to our hospitals, as it empowers all of our staff to recognise where improvements can be made and challenge any behaviour or standards that undermine great care for our patients. The programme helps our staff to drive forward meaningful change themselves and gives them a route to escalate issues where necessary.
“The programme was developed as an interactive programme with our staff, but it has become so much more than that for us. From the very beginning – when staff members gave us ideas for the Patient First logo – to today, we’ve seen the programme become part of the culture at Epsom and St Helier, and we are delighted that our efforts have been recognised with a national award.”
Kevin Croft, Director of People and Organisational Development, said: “Putting the Patient First is our number one value as an organisation, and to be recognised as a national leader for that is fantastic.
“So far, 1,500 staff members have taken part in the training, but with a monthly newsletter dedicated to improvements that have been made as part of Patient First and regular updates for everyone involved, it’s something that we are sure is going to keep going strong.”
Here are just a few examples of the changes that have been made as a result of the Patient First work:
A full review into how easy it is to navigate our hospitals was launched, with improvements being implemented this summer
Photoboards on all of our wards show the names and roles of staff working in the department, so visitors know who’s who
Standardising the equipment trolleys that doctors use so that the items that they need during patient assessments is easier than ever to find – this saves them valuable time, freeing them up to spend more time talking to patients
Staff wear different coloured lanyards with roles printed on them so that patients can easily identify people who don’t always wear uniforms, including doctors, pharmacists and porters
Staff working with elderly patients are encouraged to wear an age simulation suit for a day, to understand the mobility issues our elderly patients have
Our nurses have introduced a ‘dementia suitcase’ and memory boxes for patients with dementia. These familiar items and distractions help to calm patients in the unfamiliar surroundings of a hospital.
The programme was developed in partnership with Bebop Consulting Limited.