HOHC: John Needham, Patient Experience Officer
John Needham, Patient Experience Officer
“My mother was a state registered nurse for the NHS. It was her livelihood, but it also saved her life. In the mid-1970s she contracted a life threatening blood disease and was rushed to Intensive Care. Thanks to the care of the doctors and nurses in the ICU she recovered, and I was inspired to pursue a career in the NHS so that I could give back and become part of an organisation that was providing compassionate care to those in need.
“Before joining the NHS in 2010 I worked in retail, and part of my job was delivering the best customer experience possible. I was made redundant in 2009 and took the opportunity to explore a career at Epsom and St Helier and fulfil my wish to give back to the NHS following my mother’s illness. My role involves liaising with patients and visitors to the Trust, and I aspire to deliver a great level of service for all patients and visitors. I facilitate the collection of patient feedback in the Friends and Family Test, and ensure that it is channelled back to the correct clinical areas so that our staff can see the praise they get from patients, and so that we can implement changes where necessary.
“This year has been different for all of us, and I realised that being in hospital during the height of COVID must be very difficult for our patients and their visitors. The restrictions in place often meant that patients weren’t able to see their loved ones as often as they’d like to, which was distressing for everyone. Our team set up a scheme across the Trust called Letters to Loved Ones in April, where friends and family of patients admitted to our hospitals were able to write letters, which we then laminated to ensure sanitisation, before hand delivering to the wards. The initiative was very important to both our patients and their relatives, and provided everyone at the hospital with a much needed boost. It reminded us to have courage in the face of adversity, and that though times might be hard, compassionate care was still possible.
“Letters to Loved Ones had a lot of great feedback from our patients and their visitors, and it’s been my proudest achievement whilst working in the NHS. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to facilitate the love and care a family wants to show to their loved one whilst in hospital, and hearing how much it helped our patients and their families is just amazing.
“Our Trust is full of people, led from the top, who want to do the best for our patients, and I am proud to be a member of that team.”