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.
Brian Kinsella is Clinical Lead and Clinical Nurse Continence Specialist in East Staffordshire. Over the last 18 months, Brian and Learning Disability Nurse Steph Brinklow, have been visiting care and assisted living homes together, educating staff about continence issues and helping to change the lives of people they care for.
Carmen has been with Virgin Care since the company began its partnership with the NHS in the area in May 2017, stepping up from nurse practitioner to clinical lead nurse a little over 12 months ago. She works across the Skelmersdale and Ormskirk sites, splitting her time between clinical practice and managerial work.
Adele Dick is a healthcare assistant at dermatology centres in Grimsby and Scunthorpe. She was nominated for a Feel the Difference award by her area manager for her unwavering cheerful demeanour.
Anna Dobie is locality business support manager for Wiltshire Children’s Services. As part of a wider transformation project which started this year she helped form a new Single Point of Access team for all children’s services across the region. She was nominated for a Feel the Difference award for her positive management during this challenging transition.