Patients and members of the public have been involved in an initiative to help improve care at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.
The 15 Steps Challenge is a national programme which aims to identify what good quality care looks and feels like from the patient’s point of view.
As part of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s ongoing patient experience programme, and following recommendations highlighted in the Keogh Review, non-executive director Tim Staniland developed a proposal to pilot the challenge at the Pilgrim, with a view to evaluating and adopting it across the Trust.
As ULHT is moving to become a member-based organisation, a number of public members who had expressed an interest in patient experience were recruited to take part in the challenge.
They were split into six teams and taken around the hospital to identify improvements that could be made to enhance patients’ experience.
Each member of the team was asked to consider one of four key areas when making their assessments – is the area welcoming; safe; caring and involving and well organised and calm. The teams were accompanied by a director and member of staff from either Lincoln or Grantham hospitals.
Speaking about the challenge Jennie Negus deputy director of nursing said: “This was an excellent opportunity to involve our patients and members as our eyes and ears on the ground at the hospital.
“Patients and staff both have high expectations for safe, good quality care, delivered in welcoming and clean environments. The challenge helps to address how the environment influences patient experience and helps us hear the patient voice, address any issues and also share best practice.
“The positive feedback from many of the teams was that staff were welcoming, friendly and caring and that the wards felt calm and well organised.
“We will also use the comments from the teams to further improve the service, for example we will look at introducing patient information guidelines so departments can maintain consistency with the information they display.”
Each clinical area received written feedback on their visit and a presentation was made to Foundation Trust members at a Locality Forum meeting. A public facing report will be developed for wards to display.
Follow-up visits to each area will be agreed for the near future, with plans underway to roll out the challenge across the trust.
The report has also been presented to the Patient Experience Committee which is accountable to the trust Quality Governance Committee. It is responsible for ensuring that the patient experience strategy and workplan is implemented effectively across the trust.