Clinical teams at the Royal United Hospital in Bath have been recognised for their work to improve patient experience.
The hospital’s first-ever Patient Experience Awards were an opportunity to share improvements to patient experience that frontline staff have made, with four teams receiving the top awards from over 20 nominations.
First place went to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) team for improving attendance at its twice-yearly IBD Patient Evenings, an opportunity for the team to share information with patients face-to-face.
By working hard to publicise the events and tailoring the content for the evenings to reflect patient feedback, attendance at the evenings has now doubled with very positive feedback from patients.
Dr David Walker, Consultant Gastroenterologist and IBD Lead, said: “Improving patient experience is at the heart of what we do – whether this is by talking to our patients on the advice line or in clinic, or hosting these evenings to facilitate platforms for discussion and education, our aim is to always provide a positive and supportive service for our patients. We are therefore delighted to receive this award.”
The other award winners were:
Second place – Therapies Oncology Team
The Therapies Oncology Team provides physiotherapy and occupational therapy support for cancer patients following diagnosis. Patients told the RUH that they would have benefitted from knowing the team was there to support them following their initial diagnosis.
As a result, staff worked to raise awareness of the service in oncology and produced a leaflet explaining what the service could offer. This leaflet is now given to patients at pre-treatment talks from cancer support workers.
Referrals to the service increased from an average of 36 a month to 56 a month and referrals for patients with head and neck cancer increased fourfold.
Joint third place – Menopause Oncology Clinic
A multi-disciplinary clinic has been set up to support women going through the menopause as a result of treatment or surgery for cancer.
The clinic, funded through a Macmillan Pilot project grant, includes a menopause specialist, an oncologist and a breast and gynaecology clinical nurse specialist.
It aims to improve quality of life – maintaining patients on appropriate therapy, switching where necessary and stopping therapies where the risks may outweigh the benefits.
Feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive and the clinic has had an extremely positive impact on the quality of care provided to patients.
Joint third place – Sexual Health Service at Riverside
The service launched a telephone consultation service for women requesting an intrauterine device (coil) for contraception.
This meant that women had one less appointment to attend in person at the hospital, saving them time and the inconvenience of having to take time off work or arrange childcare.
Feedback from patients showed a high degree of satisfaction with the pre-coil fit telephone consultation. There was also a fall in the number of patients failing to attend appointments and a reduction in the number of procedures that had to be postponed from failure to comply with the pre-coil fit advice.
The projects all took place before the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the RUH is now exploring how patient experience may have changed since, taking into account new ways of working across the hospital.
Sharon Manhi, Lead for Patient and Carer Experience, said: “Patient experience is at the heart of what we aim to do at the RUH and I was overwhelmed at the number of teams that came forward to share the great work that they had been doing.
“Unfortunately, our celebration event was not able to go ahead at the end of March as planned but we are hoping we will be able to share all the good work later in the year.”