Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Online Feedback - weekly roundup


By Sarah Kennedy
Patient Experience Officer

Listening to and acting on patient feedback is one of the ways in which we make continuous improvements to the quality of care and services.
There are a number of ways you can share details of your experience with us. You can post your comments online via Patient Opinion and NHS Choices. You can also tell us how we did by sending us a tweet to @nottmhospitals.
It was great last week to receive some feedback from a student nurse about their placement on ward C25! Here are some of the feedback highlights from last week: 
“A wonderful, wonderful audiologist treated me a week or so ago and I can't thank them enough I left feeling 10 years younger with some instant and lasting improvements I can cherish. The specialist I saw treated me with skill, compassion and friendliness; they are an asset to the health service and a genuine carer. I left the house to beautiful birdsong this morning rather than the screeching noise that has dominated my waking thoughts for so long and it is something I will appreciate every time it happens.”

“Told he could go home last Monday which was great and a hospital bed was sent to our home. Then told unless he could get into a chair himself the ambulance couldn't stretcher him home. We live over 3 floors and we have stair lifts to our main bedroom. I explained but the whole thing was called off as no ambulance firm would do it. Now last Friday I was told I would have to wait till next Wednesday to discuss his care on return.”

“I received the treatment I needed. The doctors talked to me about the treatment I should receive. I was amazed by the cleanliness. I want to say big thank you to all of the stuff that supported me, when I was in the hospital.”

“When I questioned the treatment they had a disgusted look on their face which made me feel very uncomfortable. I left feeling worst due to their attitude. Most doctors forget that a patient has gone through months of distress before they finally reach the hospital.”

“My 15 year old daughter had an appointment at the children’s fracture clinic. When we arrived the waiting room was packed and noisy.  However, not a single nurse looked stressed. They were extremely pleasant and considerate. Despite there being so many people, patients were being processed reasonably quickly and with such high level personable care. Have never come across such amazing medical staff before - so well done and thank you.”

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 weeks ago. The staff in the breast institute are excellent, caring and kind. I'd like to thank everyone I crossed paths with yesterday the theatre porters, the recovery team, the Gillies ward team and the catering team. And of course my surgeon and anaesthetist thank you. Fingers crossed we don't have to meet again!”

“I was very lucky to be allocated to C25 ward as part of my nursing training. I was given the opportunity to observe many different procedures and treatments and was never made to feel like I was a burden or in the way. The ward leader was great with me and made the time to speak to me about how well I was doing on the ward, she is very staff and patient oriented and always has what is best for them in mind. My mentor was brilliant with me, she guided me in a way I didn't realise that she was doing it but felt the full benefit of her knowledge and guidance. I recommend C25/24 to any nursing or med student as a place to learn, feel part of a team and extend your knowledge.”

You can read the full week’s comments and leave your own on the Patient Opinion and NHS Choices websites.
Don’t forget, if someone has made a difference to you or a loved one you can say ‘thanks’ by nominating them for a NUHonours Award (these are our annual staff awards). Visit our website for more information.




Friday, 20 May 2016

Dementia Awareness Week


Written by Sara Deakin, practice development matron for older people and dementia.

As dementia awareness week comes to an end I would like to thank all the dementia champions who have worked hard to help raise awareness.

Highlights from the week include visits to City Hospital and QMC by the Alzheimer’s Society dementia roadshow. The roadshow gave carers, visitors and staff the opportunity to ask questions, learn about the services available to them and receive information and support.

Wards put together amazing information displays, reminiscence pictures and moving poems to help engage with patients’ memories and past experience.

Afternoon teas, quizzes, music sessions and cake sales have raised money to support dementia care.

The newly appointed activity therapists went out delivering activity sessions on a number of wards across both sites. Our thanks go to Nottingham Hospitals Charity for funding activity boxes for the activity therapists team to provide meaningful activities for people with dementia when they are in hospital.

Katie Moore continues to promote the importance of supporting carers of people with dementia and Anna Lindstrand from the audiology team is doing amazing work to support people with dementia and hearing loss.

While dementia awareness week may end for us it does not end for people who have dementia or their families and carers. Dementia is a progressive illness with no known cure. We need to continue to raise awareness, provide training and education for staff and ensure we provide the best possible care to people with dementia.




Dementia Awareness Week - 'Our Albert'




Written by the Activity therapists team.


We’ve been visiting patients on the wards across both City hospital and QMC during Dementia Awareness Week as part of the ‘Our Albert’ project.  

‘Our Albert’ is a series of creative workshops using the story of Albert and the Lion. Albert and the Lion is a popular story from the 1950s so many of our older patients are familiar with it.

We start by reading the story aloud to patients. Patients then participate in creative activities such as singing, colouring, word searches and making lions out of wool. We tailor the activities to meet each patient’s individual abilities to ensure everyone can take part.

Because the story is familiar it evokes past experiences to engage patients’ memories. The creative activities stimulate cognitive function and provide a sensory experience. Research has shown that these sorts of activities can improve mood and increase a sense of identity.

‘Our Albert’ and all other projects we deliver to patients work towards one aim:


To compliment clinical and medical interventions to enhance patients’ well-being and aim for a better personal hospital experience, through cognitive and sensory stimulation and physical activities.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Dementia Awareness week - dementia and hearing




Written by Anna Lindstrand

Research shows that people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia and there are various theories as to why. One theory is that extra strain on the brain from hearing loss causes deterioration. Another theory is that hearing loss causes social isolation and less stimulation which leads to deterioration.

So how can we improve services for these patients? It’s about adapting care to the patient to help them get the best out of their hearing aids. It’s also a question of awareness. Once you know that hearing loss and dementia are closely linked it seems fairly obvious - if somebody can’t hear you, how can they remember what’s been said?

Time in hospital can be very stressful to patients, especially those who struggle to make sense of their surroundings. Add to that a broken hearing aid and it can be even more stressful. Our service has become crucial to patients and staff. It increases communication and enables capacity assessments, which in turn enable faster appropriate discharges and fewer readmissions. Patients have a better experience and staff members don’t have to watch patients struggle on with lost/broken hearing aids or poor hearing.

We take our service to patients rather than waiting for them to come to us and it’s already paying off. People are aware of us. We’re getting more and more referrals to the service as doctors and other health care staff realise just how big an impact hearing can have on cognition. As our service grows more and more people are getting the help they need. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Dementia Awareness Week - Activity boxes




 Written by the Activity Therapists team.



Activity Therapy – To compliment clinical and medical interventions to enhance patients’ well-being and aim for a better personal hospital experience, through cognitive and sensory stimulation and physical activities.


We are the Activity Therapists, a team of five who have set up a new service at NUH dedicated to patients who suffer from dementia, delirium or confusion and are at high risk of falls.

We have been busy throughout Dementia Awareness week. One of the activities we have been promoting is ‘Activity Boxes’.

The activity boxes are designed to stimulate withdrawn patients or calm patients who are anxious or agitated. They also provide a distraction to reduce the risk of falls. The activities have a therapeutic benefit and are selected on a person-centred basis.

Reminiscence activities such as looking at old photos or books, encourage socialisation, improve confidence and the ability to interact, and can alleviate loneliness and boredom as well as  lift low moods.

Purposeful activities, such as shoe polishing or washing up, enable feelings of being useful and valued. This maintains a patient’s dignity and maintains life skills and personal interests.

Word searches and quizzes can enhance cognition, stimulate and keep an active mind.

Music therapy is uplifting, maintaining the central cortex of the brain, which remains intact in later stages for people with dementia.  

Sensory stimulation can promote calming experiences, reducing agitation and anxiety.

The activity boxes have been generously funded by Nottingham Hospitals Charity. Our aim is to provide 100 boxes to share across 100 wards and hundreds of patients.

You can read more about our work in Friday’s blog.


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Dementia Awareness Week - why involve carers?



By Katie Moore, Head of Public Patient Involvement. 



At NUH we are committed to carers.

We recognise how important it is that we support carers while the person they care for is in hospital and that they are involved in that person’s care in a way that suits their individual needs. There are several ways in which we do this at NUH.

When a patient is admitted to a ward staff identify the main carer (with the patient’s consent).

We ask carers to complete the ‘About Me’ document which identifies if, how and when they want to be involved in the patient’s care.

We've introduced the ‘carer’s passport’ at NUH which enables carers to visit the person they care for on the ward at any time of day to suit their own needs. The carer’s passport is available to the main carer or carers of patients living with dementia or other particular needs.

Including and supporting carers will lead to better outcomes for patients and carers and ultimately the staff supporting them, giving carers peace of mind that the person they care for is receiving the best and most appropriate treatment possible.


Our carers have told us they would like more information. We’ve responded and worked with carers to create a dedicated carers page on our website. This page has all the information carers need while the person they care for is in hospital, as well as information about the advice and support they can access in the community. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Online feedback - weekly round up

By Andrew Steggles
Patient Experience Officer

Listening and learning from patient feedback is vitally important to us at NUH. 

With Patient Opinion and NHS Choices it’s quick and easy to share your experience. Alternatively, you can tell us how we did by sending us a tweet to @nottmhospitals

Last week we had a lot of concerns raised.  We welcome this type of feedback, to help us really focus on the areas in which we need to do better.  Here are examples of some of the comments we received last week (we have responded to these where they were posted):

With some I've talked with I am made to feel that I'm being a nuisance when all I am after is the [MRI] results so that I can speak to my consultant to see were we go from here.

My daughter was diagnosed two weeks ago with advanced breast cancer, the way she was dealt with was inhuman.  Cold and heartless doesn't come close to describing her treatment… In contrast the CT scanning suite at Queens was exemplary, they were all so kind, especially two HCA's one of whom was an angel when I broke down.

[On the ward I was on] reception lights were on full all night, staff failed to reduce the volume of their voice during the night. 

All the staff I met leading up to my operation made me feel at ease and I felt confident they knew what they were doing. I had no problems and quickly recovered. My post-op appointment was worthwhile as they helped me resolve a recurring problem, and again the staff were friendly and very helpful.

We also received a lot of feedback on social media after we announced our updates smoke-free policy, where we announced we would now be allowing electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to be used outdoors on our sites, to help our patients with quitting smoking.

Here are some of the comments we received:

Nottingham University Hospitals, I applaud you. Let's hope the rest of our hospitals follow suit. 

This is awful, I don't smoke and I shouldn't have to walk through the smoke given off by these things to go to hospital!

Thank you for helping us improve our health. Other hospitals please take note.
Well done on today's decision to allow vaping. Great stuff!

Thanks, will make visiting my wife (She spends a lot of time at city hospital) a lot easier.

I'm not sure how this will help when people dont pay any regards to the rules which currently stand as it is.

Hospital decides to help smokers quit with ecigs - simple, practical, effective, humane.

Congratulations Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust for seeing sense, following evidence and lifting ridiculous ban on use of ecigs!

Good news! I swapped over 3 years ago from 50 cigs a day, haven't had a cig since and really feel the health benefits.

Dementia Awareness week - Alzheimer’s Society community roadshow




Written by Sara Deakin, practice development matron for older people and dementia.

This week is dementia awareness week and we have a variety of activities planned across both sites at NUH to help raise awareness about dementia. It is our aim that through raising staff and public awareness we can continue to work together to help improve the lives of people with dementia, as well as their families and carers
This year we are privileged to welcome the Alzheimer’s Society community roadshow to the trust. The roadshow has been touring the UK for the past four years, providing essential support, information and advice about dementia to members of the public.

It is not a collection or fundraising event, rather an opportunity for members of the public to receive free, tailored, and confidential advice.

Today the roadshow is located outside the treatment centre at QMC between 10am and 4pm, and on Thursday 19 May the roadshow will be located outside main out-patients at City hospital, also between 10am and 4pm.

Everyone is welcome to attend the roadshow. Visitors and carers can receive vital support, and staff can develop their knowledge about dementia.

No appointment is needed. Just pop along for a chat or just to pick up a leaflet.

Don’t be on your own. We want to help and support as many people as we can.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Online feedback - weekly round up

By Andrew Steggles
Patient Experience Officer

Patient feedback is vital. It is one way in which we say thanks to our staff when they do a good job, and look at where we might do better.

There are lots of ways to provide feedback and it’s quick and easy with Patient Opinion and NHS Choices. You can also tell us how we did by sending us a tweet to @nottmhospitals.

There were fewer comments last week than we have had in previous weeks.  We aren’t sure why that was, but perhaps the good weather meant people were busy going out and enjoying themselves!

The main themes of this week’s comments were once again the standard of care and behaviour of our staff, and all were positive.

Here are some of the highlights:

I would just like to say thank you to all who works in E14 they have my thanks for a speedy recovery and looked after me with great care. 

My daughter was referred to have part if her hearing aid removed which had become lodged in her ear canal and was causing her great pain. I would like to thank Dr Lee, Dr Ubayasiri and Katherine Hill for their kindness, expertise and professionalism. Such an amazing service.

The care I received was excellent. The staff were all incredibly hard working yet cheerful and always found time for a chat. They carefully monitored my condition helping to make me as comfortable as possible. Now almost 6 weeks on everyone is pleased with my progress and though still in a little pain I find things are improving on a daily basis.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Online feedback - weekly round up


By Andrew Steggles
Patient Experience Officer

There are lots of ways to share your feedback with us – so we know how we’re doing.

It’s quick and easy with Patient Opinion and NHS Choices. You can also tweet your feedback to @nottmhospitals.

The top online feedback themes last week were about care standards and praise for our hard-working staff and their efforts.

Here are some of the highlights:

I have just returned home having had thoracic lung surgery and was on Barclay ward for nine days. The whole experience was made much better because of the incredibly hard working staff - nothing was too much trouble to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

I was impressed by the respect shown to all patients, the care given by the nursing staff, the cleaning regime and catering. I was given the freedom to look after myself wherever possible but the staff were ready to listen to me when I was distressed.

 I was on C51 for two weeks. The nursing staff on this ward work incredibly hard to ensure their patients are well cared for, especially one nurse in particular (Bet)h who was absolutely wonderful! Special mention to Alan the tea man who was great and knew everyone's orders!

(The patient’s wife) said she slept better the previous night knowing he was in good hands and was being taken care of.

My daughter was sent to QMC from Kingsmill with suspected myasthenia gravis. The staff spent less than 10 minutes with my daughter and in that short time came to the conclusion that her ptosis is behavioural! In my opinion, the department at QMC is a joke, no communication from them.

The care and procedure in the colonoscopy department I had was first class, I would recommend this to anyone with a range of Gastro issues, the city hospital gastro information website could do with an update with the range of treatments you carry out, everything was excellent.