RLI watchdog leads to change

The Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
The Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Improvements have been made at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary after Healthwatch Lancashire were invited to follow a group of patients and listen to their experiences.

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, volunteer co-ordinator, spent a week on Ward 39 at the RLI listening to patients to 
understand their views on all aspects of their care.

Feedback received by Healthwatch Lancashire was then shared with University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust to help them to highlight aspects of their experience that patients felt were performing well, and to identify where improvements could be made.

Healthwatch Lancashire has also been requested by UHMB to repeat the project in July this year.

Gill Brown, Healthwatch Lancashire chief executive, said: “By following a patient’s journey and listening to views and experiences we were able to understand the positive 
aspects of the care patients are receiving on Ward 39 and help to identify any areas where the hospital can make improvements.

“UHMB were extremely pro-active with not only 
listening to our findings, but by acting to improve the quality of care as a result.

“This work demonstrates the important role Healthwatch Lancashire plays in ensuring health and social care services improve by listening to patient and public views and opinions.”

Sue Smith, UHMB executive chief nurse, said: “We would like to thank Healthwatch Lancashire for this valuable piece of work which goes towards the continuing improvement in the quality of care we offer to our patients.

“Listening to the views of patients and carers is vital – and I’m pleased we are able to use a collaborative approach to making improvements in the care we provide.”

The report is available to download at www.healthwatchlancashire.co.uk.