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Changes made in Addenbrooke's Emergency Department following Healthwatch visit

14/09/2017

Addenbrooke's Hospital sign

Patient voices help improve care in Addenbrooke’s Emergency Department after the hospital makes a number of changes following a visit from Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

This includes better information about waiting times in the Emergency Department, dignity and privacy awareness training for staff, and steps to improve cleanliness in the department. 

We visited the hospital last year, using our statutory power to enter and view, to find out about people’s experience of the care they received.  We spoke to over 50 people on two separate visits, spending time in both the adult and children's areas, as well as the Ambulatory Care Unit and the Clinical Decision Unit. As a result of our visit we wrote a report and made seven suggestions to make care better. Read the full report here.

Helen Balsdon, Chief Nursing Information Officer and Patient Liaison, has told us about some of the things that have changed or are changing since we visited. 

The hospital has secured funding to install another waiting time screen in the main waiting area. The equipment has been ordered and they are waiting for installation.  This was after we highlighted problems patients had when they didn’t know how long they were going to wait for treatment.

The hospital has done some additional awareness training for staff about the importance of ensuring people’s privacy and dignity after we told them about a patient who was not adequately covered up whilst they were waiting on a trolley-bed in the X-ray department. They are also reviewing hospital gowns to see if there is an alternative that may help improve this further.

Good hygiene helps the hospital to protect patients against serious infections. Some of our recommendations were about tacking causes of poor hygiene. As a result of our visit, the hospital has:  

  • Initiated extra cleaning checks at busy times of day, including weekends
  • Replaced all bins in the department with hands-free opening bins
  • Re-accolated hand-gel cleaning stations to better locations in the department.

Trust wide, there has been a big promotion on hand hygiene and the hospital is about to install a new sign in the front foyer of the Emergency Department main entrance.

Our Healthwatch also asked the hospital to look again at the external signage for car parking and services for people arriving on site, to make sure that is clear and easy to understand.

Helen told us that there is a project in-hand to refresh the signage within the hospital. As part of this, the emergency department has completely replaced all its directional signage. There is work underway to look at the external signage.

If you have visited Addenbrooke’s Emergency Department in the last six-months, please do tell us about your experience. Call us on 0330 355 1285 (local call number), email enquiries@healthwatchcambridgeshire.co.uk or leave your feedback online.

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Updates on what has been done following our visit.

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