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Trust tries out red badges to help patients identify senior nurses

  • 9 Comments

A new way of identifying senior nurses on the wards is being tried out at hospitals in part of Lincolnshire.

As part of a pilot on medical wards at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, the nurse in charge on each shift will now be wearing a red badge with the words “shift leader” on it.

Earlier this year the trust rolled out yellow name badges for staff who work face-to-face with patients. The badges are bright yellow with the staff member’s name and job title in large black writing.

“These red badges are a simple but effective way to identify who the nurse in charge is”

Paul Kirton Watson

The trust said the initiative followed feedback from patients that they did not know always the name of the member of staff caring for them.

Now in addition to the yellow badges, it has been announced that the senior nurse in charge on the shift will be wearing a red badge too.

Paul Kirton Watson, associate chief nurse for medicine, said: “It’s important that our patients and their visitors can identify who the senior nurse is on the ward from shift to shift. It’s not always the nurse with the darkest blue uniform. 

“Patients have told us they don’t know who is in charge; these red badges are a simple but effective way to identify who the nurse in charge is,” he said.

“That way if any patient, relative or indeed member of staff wants to speak to the senior nurse on the ward, they just need to look out for the red badge,” he added.

 

  • 9 Comments

Readers' comments (9)

  • michael stone

    My only - fairly trivial - question about this, is about the colour - red ?

    Although red is eye-catching, it usually 'stands for danger' ?

    Would a different colour, be better than red ? Fluorescent pink springs to mind, as a possibility ?

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  • Yet another colour scheme to add to confusion. As if uniform/epaulette colours weren't enough. And then different aprons for care/food/infection control. And then wrist bands for allergy/falls risk.

    I'm not knocking attempts at clarity and being accessible to patients and relatives but I feel that it's all too complicated already.

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 7-Jan-2015 4:52 pm

    Yes, a confusing scheme is probaby as bad as no scheme at all.

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  • Surely the simplistic approach would be for a nationally agreed uniform to identify all health care professionals. Even I am confused; the clerical staff in my current NHS trust are wearing the uniforms of the Matrons in my previous trust! I realise that this could have a cost implication in the short term but this could be saved from the cost of each trust producing its own identification posters for staff and colour coded badges. The police, the fire service have one uniform how did the NHS get it so wrong?
    Hayley Flavell

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  • Until it changes to a national colour scheme, we will all continue to be confused.
    We use the red badges, not seen the yellow ones. Could do with being bigger, for us with poorer eyesight and not wanting to invade someone's personal space. Would like everyone working to wear similar sized name badges, sometimes its tricky to identify the correct team of doctors, pharmacists and other specialists.

    Still see queries + requests for assistance are usually/initially directed to anyone looking like a nurse, even if you don't work on that ward / trust (on a patient transfer).

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  • michael stone

    'hayley flavell | 9-Jan-2015 10:42 am

    Surely the simplistic approach would be for a nationally agreed uniform to identify all health care professionals;'

    Yes, it would: the only two problems, are getting something agreed by everyone, and the fact (as you pointed out) that 'we are not starting from a blank sheet'. If we do get a national scheme, I hope it is properly thought-out - see Andy's comment, for example.

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  • could somebody please find a large and unique red badge for michael stone so we know which pages to avoid!

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 9-Jan-2015 6:31 pm

    Doesn't my dinosaur appear on your viewing platform ?

    And where is your 'unique badge', dear 'anonymous' ?

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  • we should welcome any initiative which helps the patients, relatives and public.

    Has anyone had the sense to check with them which colour etc is the easiest to reconise ?

    No brainer really

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