You said: The Trust received feedback from patients who said they would like to see more choice.
We did: SaTH launched a new food service on the wards, with a new menu and hostess service. This means there are four main courses at lunch and dinner for patients to choose from, and they can also select a small, medium or large portion. Patients can make their selections the same day, rather than the day before, which means we can cater for how they are feeling that particular day.
Trish Purfit, Senior Catering Manager at SaTH, said: “Everyone has been tremendously enthusiastic in championing the new service, and the feedback that we have had back so far is very positive.”
Patients’ responses to the new food service continue to be monitored via local Matron Surveys. A food survey has also been included on the webpage to seek regular feedback.
You said: National Inpatient Survey results indicated patients had a poorer discharge experience in 2019 compared to in 2018. SaTH scored significantly lower (compared to last year’s results) on 2 questions: these focused on the support provided to patients after leaving hospital.
We did: We have increased the number of Patient Journey Facilitators within the Trust to support patients who are fit for discharge but require ongoing home support.
Patient pathways to provide specialised rehabilitation in community hospitals, and enhanced discharge summaries to improve communication with GPs, have also been introduced to improve people’s experience of leaving hospital.
You said: Some aspects of my husband’s treatment and care in the Emergency Department were good but we felt let down due to poor communication and culture.
We did: A patient story was recorded and shared with staff working within the Emergency Department.
We are increasing the number of ways patients, carers and others can feedback on their experience in the Emergency Department. This includes matrons seeking real-time feedback from 20 patients per week; volunteers telephoning patients who have received treatment in the Emergency Department and the introduction of monthly patient surveys.
A patient experience working group within the Emergency Department has been established to act upon the feedback received and to continue to make improvements.
You said: Volunteers who are hearing aid users and representatives from Signal took part in an audit to test the hearing loops across both hospitals.
Sarah Thomas, Project Co-ordinator at Signal, who is also a member of the Trust Patient and Carer Experience Panel, said: “Out of the places we have tested to date, 85% did not have a working hearing loop. We are working with the Lead for Patient Experience to rectify this.”
We did: The Trust has since used a portion of the kindly-donated charitable funds to purchase 52 hearing loops, to improve the experience of patients, carers and staff at SaTH. These have been installed in the outpatient clinics and reception desks across both sites, after being identified as key areas.
Mike Etchells, member of the Trust Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Community Advocates Group, and Chairman of the Shropshire Dear and Heard of Hearing Forum, said:
“It is good to see that the hearing loop audit has prompted the trust to act. I feel sure that this will benefit both patients and staff alike.”
You said: A report published by Healthwatch Shropshire exploring wellbeing during the Covid-19 Pandemic found the majority of respondents’ mental health had been impacted (51% slightly impacted, 13% significantly impacted). The top five reasons given for increased anxiety were:
Lack of social interaction and loneliness (29%)
Worry about family member’s health and/or trying to support them (17%)
Work or finance related (13%)
Fear of catching the virus (11%)
Food/shopping worries (7%).
We did: A Coronavirus hub was developed on the Trust webpage, containing information designed for the public. This included information regarding symptoms, testing and recovery from Coronavirus, as well as signposting to organisations that provide help and support with:
Feeling isolated or lonely
Debt and managing money
Practicalities such as shopping
Guidance for carers and parents.
Information is provided in other formats (British Sign Language, easy read, Makaton and pictures) as well as in different languages.
You Said: In January 2020, the Trust held an Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Stakeholder event to ask community members how well we are meeting their needs. One attendee who is a representative of Signal, and is deaf herself, gave the following feedback:
Information is not very accessible for deaf people.
Reasonable adjustments for the deaf community should include keeping written communication brief and the English very simple; and, providing sign language interpreters.
We Did: A deaf and hard of hearing intranet page was developed for staff to refer to when communicating with patients who have hearing loss. This includes guidance on written communication; hearing loops; sign language and clear speech for lip readers. The interpretation and translation pages (for staff and patients) were also both updated to clearly detail the types of communication support that are available and how to arrange this.
Additionally, a British Sign Language patient information library has been developed. The library includes videos which explain important information such as ‘how to access a translator’ and ‘how to make a complaint’. The Patient Experience Team is currently working with Signal to explore further types of information required.
You Said: At the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, visiting restrictions were introduced to help protect patients and staff; meaning visitors were unable to come on site to see their loved ones, except in exceptional circumstances.
This left some patients feeling isolated and many relatives concerned about the wellbeing of the patient.
We Did: The Trust introduced a ‘virtual visiting’ service to enable family, friends and others to see and speak to the person whilst they are in hospital. This means patients who do not have a phone or tablet of their own can use one of the hospital’s devices to video call with the people who are important to them.
After successfully being piloted on a small number of wards, the service has expanded across the Trust and each ward now has an iPad to facilitate virtual visiting.
This has had a significantly positive impact on our patients and the people who are important to them. An example of feedback which has been received in response to the introduction of Virtual Visiting is: “Just want to say a massive thank you to those who helped my sister in law get a virtual ward visit with her very poorly mum on ward 16. She rang me today so happy that she got to see her mum. I want you to understand how important this was to her and that this little thing means the world to the relatives. Keep up the good work! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
You Said: There is no clear, on-site information regarding how blue badge holders receive free car parking, when there are no Car Parking Attendants available.
We Did: A poster explaining what to do if you are entitled to free parking and there are no Car Parking Attendants available, was developed. This has been displayed by all reception areas, hospital exits, car parking pay machines and parking attendant cabins across both hospitals.
A ‘frequently asked questions’ guide was also developed and shared with reception staff, to ensure we are able to answer any questions you may have.
Whilst information is available online, we acknowledge that not everyone will have access to a computer or the internet. An information leaflet, which has been developed by the Patient and Carer Experience Panel, to provide further information on car parking will be made readily available for those who cannot access this electronically.
More information can be found by reading our privacy notice.