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Plymouth nurses develop safer patient packs


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.” 

Plymouth patient pack

New patient packs developed by nurses

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.

Plymouth patient pack

Plymouth patient packs come in two colours


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Readers' comments (5)

  • michael stone

    I like this - it actually makes sense. Well done Plymouth !

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  • The amount of time spent in the mornings getting all this together for patients is very significant.
    I agree well done.

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  • I don't quite understand "available from the Trust's vending machines". does that mean the patient has to buy them?

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  • michael stone

    Good question Jane ! I think I had 'sort of assumed' that these packs would be handed out free, but could also be bought via vending machines - clearly I didn't think that through properly, because if patients were being given them, why would anyone buy them ?'.

    I did wonder - in these politically-correct times - about 'pink and blue': 'what, no yellow' was my thought !

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  • I am not so keen on the look of the slippers. How thick are the soles? would they protect against a hypodermic needle, glass or other sharps which may be on the floor?

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