Better environment for patients awaiting surgery

More than 8000 patients a year will benefit from a new dedicated area to make them feel more comfortable and enable essential tests prior to their operation, thanks to funding from Nottingham Hospitals Charity.

£27,000 from the Charity has enabled the renovation of a ward area at Queens Medical Centre (QMC), so patients awaiting surgery have somewhere to gather and receive information about what to expect.

Previously this service was spread across 19 different areas, so the new centralised service brings together all of these patients ensuring they have consistent and timely information about their operation and treatment.

Matron of Perioperative Medicine, Jeanette Johnson says: “The new area will provide an enhanced experience for patients, in nice calming surroundings where they can find out more about their operation and what to expect. Patients can be seen in one central area and don’t have to try and find their way through the hospitals to have tests, which means they can be more independent in their care, giving them a better experience overall.”

The Charity funding has paid for diagnostic ECG machines to enable doctors to test the electrical activity of a patient’s heart over a period of time, to identify any potential heart health complications. It has also enabled decoration of the area, new flat screen TVs for important clinical messages, a water dispenser for patients to use and decorative art to brighten the area.

Jeanette continues: “The new area promotes a calming, relaxing atmosphere where they can ask any question they may have and there will be screens showing education videos about what they can expect during surgery. The Charity funding has also paid for two diagnostic ECG machines enabling important checks to be made while patients are with us rather than having to have this done separately in another area of the hospital, speeding up their treatment and relieving their anxiety.”

QMC patient Claire Parr says: “The new area is really welcoming and it shows the hospitals are trying to make things better for patients. They will be able to get important information about their care, know where to get this information and they will be able to get to know the staff better. As a patient you feel more comfortable in this kind of environment and don’t need to worry about the operation as much.”

The new Pre-Operative Assessment Unit at Queens Medical Centre was officially opened by Chief Executive of the Charity, Barbara Cathcart.

Barbara says: “It’s a pleasure to fund important projects like the new Pre-Operative Assessment Unit which will have such a big impact on the experience of so many patients at Nottingham’s hospitals. This unit is a real partnership between Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Charity – the Trust identified the need for this service redesign and the Charity was able to support the enhancements to this unit. The new diagnostic ECG machines will also make a big difference to doctors and their patients by enabling them to have all their essential tests in a central location and identify potential health complications before surgery.”

Patients began using the new area this week and more than 8000 patients are set to benefit from this new service every year.