Observe and Act

The purpose of Observe and Act is to look at a person’s total experience of a service from the patient/carer perspective, learn from it, share good practice and, where necessary, act to make improvements.

Observations are made from a non-clinical view; therefore, Observe and Act is open to service-users, volunteers and non-clinical staff, in addition to clinical staff.

The tool has been designed and developed for use in a range of settings, including wards, departments and clinics. Observe and Act is not an inspection; it is a way to identify supportive issues around a service that may seem small, but can make a big difference to the experience of patients.

Observe and Act contributes to service improvement by providing information about what patients and carers view as important, providing real-time feedback to staff on good practice and identifying areas where improvements can be made.


Observers are required to complete one training session and two practice observations.

For more information, contact the Patient Experience team.


‘Observe and Act has good potential as a tool to help improve the way in which the hospital and clinics are run.  It is helping managers from the patients experience to receive feedback on how their services are run, and Observe and Act allows feedback to be used to improve or slightly better what they have in place’. (Marcus Watkin – Volunteer)

‘I was interested in taking part from a layman’s point of view to look at how things work in the hospital and to make a difference to the patient from my experience as a carer, relative and past patient.  I look forward to getting involved in more Observe and Act Sessions’. (Marian Chitty – Non-Clinical Member of Staff)

‘As someone who has received care from our hospital and whose family receives care from our hospital, helping the patient experience be the best it can be is something I’m absolutely passionate about. I work off-site in a non-clinical capacity so being able to participate with Observe and Act helps me feel more connected to the care of our patients and provides me with the opportunity to help improve the patient experience by sharing observations of good practice from a non-clinical perspective.’ (Laura Carlyon– Non-Clinical Member of Staff)

‘When I heard about Observe and Act I was very keen to get involved.  Having spent many years as a patient, both here at SaTH and at the QE in Birmingham, I felt my experiences could be beneficial to the scheme.  I also feel that being in a non-clinical role, it helps looking at things from a different angle.’ (Chris Williams – Non-Clinical Member of Staff)

‘We were very pleased to be asked to support this project and have to say we found all of the discussions and the points raised from this, very constructive and encouraging. It focused our priorities on what’s important to a vast number of visitors to the Trust, especially those with disabilities. We have also been able to work with a number of different stakeholders i.e. estates and the fire officer at working towards implementing some of the points raised from the focus group. I think the overriding positive from this for us is seeing the local visiting community have input into the development of the hospital. We would very much like to be part a part of future projects.’ (Nick Parkin, Ian Stuart and Joe Warwick – following an O&A visit to the Mytton Restaurant)