Volunteers taking 15 steps to improve NHS

Gainsborough news
Gainsborough news

Looking at wards and clinics through a patient’s eyes is helping to improve community healthcare services in Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) is using the 15 Steps Challenge to capture first impressions with the help of volunteer members of the trust.

The challenge sees teams of four or five people, including patient representatives, clinical and non-clinical staff and non-executive directors, visiting different locations across the county to recognise positive ideas and make recommendations on how improvements can be made.

The project, which is part of a national scheme, was inspired by a parent who said that she can tell what kind of care her daughter will receive within 15 steps of walking to a ward.

Volunteer visitor Audrey Pestell said: “I have been involved in many kinds of health inspections in the past but this is the first time it has been with the sole intention of improving the patient experience.”

“If the practice provides evidence of a first class experience, it is important that this is noted and reported back.”

“However, if there are pointers that there is something that could be improved, either with equipment, information provided or anything that reflects on patient wellbeing this is also reported back in a constructive manner,” she added.

The challenge has already led to a number of improvements at sites across the county, including a review of information provided for patients and their relatives, the redecoration of a children’s waiting area and supply of new toys, and clearer signage for services.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust can fill in an application form online by visiting www.lincolnshirecommunityhealthservices.nhs.uk

Those interested in participating in the 15 Steps Challenge programme can also contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0845 602 4384.