Hospital nurses in Devon have led the development of new packs of essentials for admitted patients, after ward staff complained the products previously on offer were often unsuitable or poor quality.
From today the new packs are available on all wards and departments at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, along with anti-slip slippers.
They contain a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shower gel, shampoo, comb and hairbrush. A shaver and shave cream will also be included in some of the packs.
Last year, a working group of nurses and procurement staff was set up to look at the hospital’s consumables products.
Sue Johnson, the trust’s head of nursing for surgery, said: “We formed our group following feedback from some of our ward sisters that some of the products we had did not work well, were felt to be of poor quality and poor value for money and, ultimately, were not meeting our patients’ needs.”
She said ward staff “felt particularly strongly” about the toiletries provided to patients.
“The razors available were not sharp enough to give a comfortable shave, our shaving foam did not appear to foam and we only had large tubes of toothpaste and this was very wasteful,” she said.
Ms Johnson added: “With the support of our procurement team, we sourced and trialled products of a much better quality and put them together in pink and blue welcome packs. Everything they need is in one place and they can be stored for the patient neatly and cleanly within their locker.”
In addition to the toiletries, the group also looked at the disposable patient slippers supplied within the hospital.
Ms Johnson said: “The previous product available was made of foam that often didn’t fit, easily split and had the potential to contribute to patient falls. The new slipper socks we are introducing are comfortable, have anti-slip bottoms and whilst improving safety have the added bonus of keeping our patients feet warm.
“We hope that these changes will improve the experience for our patients,” she said.
The packs will also be available to purchase from the trust’s vending machines.
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