A TREE which helps parents, young patients and staff work together to improve health services for children at Moray’s flagship hospital has been part of a national award.
The Improvement Tree project allows parents and young patients to make comments on what has been done well and what could be improved.
The tree is a colourful stencil on a wall in each children’s ward across NHS Grampian, with one side for comments on what has been done well and the other side for what can be improved.
Parents and patients are given information about the tree on admission and encouraged to give feedback on leaf-shaped sticky notes, which are then stuck to the tree.
These comments, and the actions taken, are recorded electronically on a computer system which allows senior charge nurses to use this data to drive quality improvement in their area.
A story board about the project, produced by senior charge nurse Matt Jobson of the children’s ward at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, won first prize for NHS Grampian’s Paediatric Service at the Scottish Patient Safety Programme’s Maternity Care Quality Improvement Collaborative event.
Matt designed the story board in his role as patient safety co-ordinator for NHS Grampian.
The Improvement Tree came from an idea conceived by senior staff nurse Michelle Morris, at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
All trees and leaf notes have been funded by the ARCHIE Foundation, the official charity of children’s wards across Grampian.
The information is soon to be displayed on the Archie Foundation website and is currently readily available on the ‘You said − we did’ boards on the wards, so that patients and families can access the feedback and actions which have resulted from their comments.
Matt said: “This recognition at national level is a credit to the passion and determination of our staff within paediatrics to provide quality, safe and person centred care to the children and families of Grampian.
“The roll-out of this idea across all paediatric wards and departments in RACH and Dr Gray’s will ensure that, what started as a great idea in one ward, will now help inform the quality of children’s services across Grampian.”
Sue Swift, head of Nursing Women and Children’s Division at NHS Grampian said: “This exciting and innovative approach to obtaining feedback from the children and their families influences care delivery.
“I am extremely proud of Michelle for having the idea and trying it in her ward and then the rest of the staff within RACH and the Neonatal Unit who have embraced the idea fully.
“This is an example of how we within NHS Grampian are striving to ensure the best care possible is delivered to our patients every day.”
The Improvement Tree project began in the RACH surgical ward in December 2012 and now there are trees across every children’s ward in NHS Grampian.
ARCHIE Foundation chief executive David Cunningham said, “This is exactly the sort of project that ARCHIE is delighted to support. It is innovative, easy to implement and has the ability to make a real and meaningful difference to the quality of services for sick children in the NHS Grampian area and beyond.”