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Smile, nurses and docs told
10:00am Tuesday 20th March 2012 in News
NURSES and doctors at Worcestershire Royal Hospital have been asked to smile more and treat people as they would expect to be treated.
NHS bosses are attempting to improve the experience of patients at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester by changing the attitudes of staff to patients and each other.
Nick Fawcett of “innovation agency” Impact Innovation gave a presentation to NHS leaders at a meeting at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in response to the Department of Health demands that everyone should have a positive experience of care.
As part of the scheme, called “Active Caring for Everyone”
(ACE), staff are handed an “ACE” card if the care they are providing is deemed to be falling below acceptable standards.
He said the scheme had identified the importance of NHS staff being professional, compassionate, alert and courteous, which can include smiling.
Mr Fawcett said: “We’re not talking about an American, cheesy, ‘Have a nice day’ kind of smile. It’s about common courtesy.
We really need to emphasise how important that is because it makes such a big difference.
“This is about treating everyone as an individual whether you’re a patient or a member of staff. It’s treating people how you would like to be treated.”
Helen Blanchard, director of nursing and midwifery at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “What patients have told us is they don’t always have a good customer experience.
Patients may say their treatment was fantastic but staff could have been more professional in their approach. They could have smiled more. Communication could have been better. We do it well but there are some people who need to do it better. It’s not that nobody smiles.”
Impact Innovation is also working with the University of Worcester for trainee nurses so they are “ACE” on their first day, Mr Fawcett said.
Rani Virk, lead nurse for quality and patient experience at the trust, said she hoped that 3,000 staff would have taken part in ACE workshops by the end of 2012/13. The trust has invested £10,000 in the scheme.
So far since November last year 243 staff have taken part in the training.
No other member of the media was present at this meeting.
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