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Acting on feedback

Listening to you

We are committed to improving the quality of treatment and care that you receive. We regularly review the feedback given by our patients and their families and take action to make things better.

The Patient Experience team reports feedback to the Trust’s bi-monthly Patient Experience Group. Patient feedback is also monitored by the Patient Safety Group, Quality Committee and the Board.

New easy to read name badges
Yellow 'My name is' badge
Example of the badge that you will see on our staff.

You said: that you didn’t know the name or role of the member of staff speaking to or caring for you and names on badges on lanyards are often hidden.

We did: we introduced new pin on name badges for our staff. Staff names are written in black on a yellow background making them easier for all patients to see, including those with impaired vision.

The distinctive #hellomynameis badges are designed to be clearly visible and to remind staff of the importance of introducing themselves.

Using a patient's preferred name

The Cancer Patient Partnership Group (CPPG) raised the importance of staff asking patients ‘what name do you prefer to be called by?’ In the last National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, only 63% of CUH patients said staff had asked this, compared with 71% nationally. 

The CPPG discussed ways to improve this score with patients and staff.  Staff suggested making a patient’s preferred name more easily accessible in Epic, the electronic patient system.  We also learned from another NHS Trust about adding the patient’s preferred name to the inpatient wristband. This patient-led initiative was then raised and actioned at the CUH Patient Experience and CUH Patient Communication Groups.  As a result, the Epic 2020 upgrade in November has a new ‘Known as’ field which will be shown next to a patient’s legal name and on inpatient wristbands. 

Helping improve patients' sleep and rest on inpatient wards

We know that hospital can be a busy noisy place and patient feedback tells us that noise from staff and patients can make getting good restorative sleep difficult. The Sleep Sound Sleep Safe working group introduced sleep well packs on all wards.

It has also carried out a number of other improvements:

  • Identified noisy equipment (eg telephones) which can be adjusted to reduce noise levels
  • Quieter door closures were fitted by estates
  • Foam pads were added to bin lids to reduce banging on closure
  • Adjustable call bell volumes (when old systems are replaced)
  • Staff asked to wear quiet shoes
  • Staff asked to prevent keys etc jangling on lanyards
  • Staff reminded to speak as quietly as possible at night
  • Sleep promotion posters were displayed in wards
  • Staff encouraged to close blinds and dim lights in corridors and patients bays at night
  • Presentations were delivered to increase awareness of the impact of noise at night
  • Noise warning systems in intensive care
  • Key pads on doors silenced
  • Hospedia TVs now turn on at 7am instead of 5am
earplugs and eye mask for assisting with sleep on wards
Learning lessons from complaints

Complaints can be a valuable tool to help us identify and act on issues: they are an opportunity for us to learn and improve.

As well as sharing the learning from complaints within the hospital, we would like to share some case studies on our website to help give confidence to patients - and their families and carers - to speak up.

Improving the care of patients with learning disabilities

A patient with a learning disability was admitted to a ward after a fall. The patient needed support with communication and understanding information about their health and treatment, but they did not have their ‘hospital passport’ with them when they arrived on the ward.

A ‘hospital passport’ gives information about a person’s needs, preferences and how they communicate. Patients are often admitted with their passport, but if they are not, a passport can be started on the ward. Patients’ families and carers can help with providing information for the passport.

Some staff on the ward did not know how best to work with someone with a learning disability. A hospital passport was not started. This meant that communication between the patient and staff was difficult, and the patient was anxious and sometimes distressed.

After the patient was discharged, a relative complained about the lack of support for the patient - they considered that the patient’s needs had not been properly assessed. The relative also felt that hospital staff had not provided enough information to the staff looking after the patient after they were discharged from hospital.

The complaint investigation found that some of the staff needed education about working with people who have a learning disability. An apology was provided to the complainant, and the staff received additional education.

A member of staff took on the role of ‘learning disability champion’ in order to improve links between ward staff and the hospital’s Learning Disability Specialist Nurse. Staff also received teaching about communicating effectively with other care providers.

Improving patient communication before treatment

Before any procedure, operation or treatment is carried out, patients must be given information which they understand and they must be asked whether they are happy to go ahead. This is called ‘taking consent’.

A patient made a complaint after they had had a medical procedure because they felt that the information they had received beforehand was not clear, particularly about which member of staff would be carrying out the procedure.

For the particular procedure the patient had, explaining the process and gaining consent is undertaken by the nursing team and the procedure is carried out by other staff members. The patient had a conversation with the nursing team and gave their consent for the treatment, but when the treatment began they realised that the person performing the procedure was not who they expected.

Because the patient had not fully understood which staff member was going to be treating them, they were very distressed.

The complaint was investigated and an explanation and apology were provided to the patient. It was agreed that the discussion between the nursing staff and patients about the staff members carrying out the procedures needed to be clearer, and so staff received additional training. The nursing staff have also been provided with a written list of points to cover in the discussion with patients about consent. These changes have been introduced in order to emphasise the importance of explaining the roles of different staff members and making sure that patients understand.

The complaint, and the improvements made as a result, were also discussed at a meeting of the whole department to raise the importance of clear communication between staff and patients.

Contact details

The Patient Engagement and Surveys Team can be contacted between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Email us
Telephone: 01223 274874

In writing:

Patient Engagement & Surveys
Box 150
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Hills Road
Cambridge
CB2 0QQ