Towards the end of June in the midst of the heatwave, at one of our senior management meetings we agreed it would be nice to do something to help cool the patients down a bit and cheer them up. We tried to think outside of the box and decided to buy some ice lollies.
Sue Fray, our head cook at Sheppey hospital, went out and bought the lollies and our healthcare workers on the wards handed them out. It went down really well, we got lots of smiles and thanks.
The heatwave was quite difficult for patients – it can be hard to cool the wards down so even if the patients aren’t moving round much they can get quite warm. Some patients, particularly if they are stroke or rehab patients, can be on the ward quite a long time so it is really good to be able to do something different for them.
We try to do small things like this often because they can make a big difference for the patients. It was nice to see the smiles on the patients’ faces; you could tell they really appreciated it. It’s a summertime treat – if they were at home and not in hospital they would be having an ice cream or an ice lolly.
I’ve been with Virgin Care for two years, and prior to that I was with the NHS for seven years. I usually have a lot of interaction with the patients – I manage supervisors on each site, but I try to get up on the wards myself as often as I can, to check the cleanliness and also to have a chat with the patients. I like to get a sense of what they think of the food and whether they think everything is clean. We try to get a lot of patient feedback – we do catering surveys and cleanliness audits to ascertain whether there is room for improvement in some areas.
I find my role very rewarding, particularly when we can see we’ve made a difference to someone’s day. That’s what we tried to do with the ice lollies, and I think it worked a treat.
Jaskiran joined us from the NHS Graduate Management Scheme and goes into detail about how her experience at Virgin Care has given her greater awareness of the health and care system that will be beneficial now and in the future.
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