Innovative approach to improving communication with patients using placemats

Wards in Lincolnshire hospitals are trying out a new way of making sure their patients get all of the information they need about their hospital stay.

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Wards in Lincolnshire hospitals are trying out a new way of making sure their patients get all of the information they need about their hospital stay- using placemats.

Placemats are being printed with important information and then used at patients’ bedsides to share information with them about visiting times, contact numbers and who’s who on the ward, among other things.

This approach to patient communication is being piloted in nine wards across hospitals run by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. It has already been shared with other hospital Trusts nationally, as well as winning an award from the Academy of FAB NHS Stuff, recognising small changes that make a big difference to patient care.

Patient Experience and Engagement Manager Sharon Kidd said: “We all know a patient’s time in hospital can be a worrying and stressful experience, often influenced by whether they feel well-informed.

“One way of improving patients’ experiences is to provide clear communication and access to information regarding the ward. The aim of the ward information placemats is to improve the experience in hospital by providing patients with information about their stay, ward routine, who will see them and other helpful information.”

The information can be tailored to each ward, and as the mats are on all the bedside tables, they can be accessed by every patient.

Patients who have used the placemats on wards piloting the idea have said:

“It gives information and you don’t have to keep asking” and “It’s a brilliant idea”

In addition, a small card has also been developed  to work alongside the placements.  Each card has the name of the ward manager together with the ward’s direct contact number and visiting hours, to be handed out to relatives and carers.

 

The wards using the new placemats are:

EAU, Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 6 at Grantham and District Hospital.

Burton Ward and Greetwell Ward at Lincoln County Hospital.

Ward 3B, Ward 7B and the Bostonian at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.