Patient profiles are to be posted above beds as part of a scheme designed to help nurses get to know those they are treating as “real people”.
Profiles of nursing staff will also be displayed in a communal area as part of the initiative being trialled at a nurse-led rehabilitation unit in Blackpool.
The 40-bed unit is run by the social enterprise Spiral Health, which took it over from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust in April 2012. The unit specialises in intermediate care with patients staying 14-16 days.
The scheme will trial a range of ideas intended to boost person-centred practices.
As part of an initial assessment prior to their arrival, patients will be asked what is important to them, how to support them best and what their expectations are for the stay.
Based on the results, every patient will have a one-page profile posted above their bed – with their consent.
The idea is that staff will be able to quickly absorb key information that could help them support the patient on a personal as well as clinical level.
One-page profiles of all staff, including photographs, will also be displayed and patients will be personally introduced those staff members who will be caring for them.
During their stay, patients will be asked what is working and what is not and how they would like to see the unit develop in the future.
Multi-disciplinary meetings will take place at bedsides, when possible.
At the end of their stay, an updated personal profile will be sent to primary and community care staff, and patients will be checked on via phone one week after discharge.
The scheme is a partnership between the social enterprise and Helen Sanderson Associates, a consultancy firm started by a former occupational therapist and Department of Health advisor on patient-centred care.
Helen Sanderson said she was prompted to develop the scheme after her mother received impersonal care while in hospital.
Ms Sanderson said: “I have enormous respect for all hospital staff. I understand that they work under tremendous pressure and in challenging circumstances and that this is why my mother’s hospital stay was less than perfect.
“My mission now is to use my skills and experience to develop a model and process for a patient hospital stay that helps put the needs of patients the very centre of the situation.”