As part of our Executive Back to the Floor commitment, I had the absolute pleasure of spending some time with colleagues in our Gynaecology department on Monday afternoon. I had the opportunity to observe the Hysteroscopy treatment service, as well as talk with one of our registrar trainees and a nursing sister who were supporting people who had been referred acutely for initial assessment of their symptoms.
The clinic environment is bright, airy and despite being busy had a calm, quiet atmosphere which patients appeared to really appreciate. It is always useful to remind myself of how important this is given that for the people who are coming into our services many of them will feel understandably apprehensive. Every single member of the team I met was professional and I was struck by their obvious commitment and passion for the patients, with examples all afternoon of genuine patient centred care that oozed kindness and compassion.
I am grateful to the people who attended for care that afternoon, for allowing me to observe and be present as well as to the team who made me feel really welcome. I joined Miss Hannah Rickard, one of our consultant gynaecologists who was delivering the hysteroscopy session and very able supported by two of the nursing team, Debbie and Tina. I watched two women undergoing treatment and was really impressed by the skills and experience of the team whose delivery was a very well-oiled machine matched in equal measure by their focus on making sure that the procedure was as comfortable as possible.
Debbie and Tina were excellent at ascertaining from the patients whether they wanted to distract themselves with conversations about forthcoming holidays to Florida or whether they needed a hand for reassurance and squeezing. The team worked hard to maintain individual privacy and dignity within the context of personal and intimate care which was incredibly humbling to witness. Hannah did a brilliant job of explaining the procedure and all the relevant parts of the treatment as it progressed. Nothing was too much trouble for the team, which was really appreciated by the women and left me feeling really confident about the team doing everything they could to live our Trust values. If we looked back only a few years this type of treatment would have needed a hospital admission, would have been done in a theatre and probably required a general anaesthetic. It is great to reflect on the improvements and transformation the team has delivered.
I spent the second half of my afternoon with one of our doctors in training in Gynaecology – Ms Lyn Grant, who is a registrar, and Hollie, who is one of the sisters in the department. I was equally impressed by their approach and enthusiasm for the service and had a chance to chat to them about the scope of activity we are now able to support in outpatient and ambulatory settings.
I think many colleagues who don’t work within these settings would be surprised at the type of care we are now delivering for our local population in this way. Hollie has previously worked on one of our inpatient wards and has significant experience. She joined the Gynaecology team earlier this year and is really enjoying the opportunity to develop new clinical skills and experience, working with colleagues to deliver and expand nurse led services. It struck me that this gives us a win – win, fulfilling professional career pathways, and care and specialist investigations delivered promptly and safely for the local population. Both Hollie and Lyn put the women they were caring for at ease and were incredible in terms of their interpersonal skills and ability to understand the clinical history approaching personal matters with sensitivity and kindness.
Other things that really struck me throughout the afternoon was how everyone saw themselves as part of the team, several colleagues commented on what a great team it was to work in which made a big difference to everyone’s experience of work. It sounds very simple, but it is always worth reminding ourselves of the positive difference this makes to individuals – there is a strong evidence base that demonstrates those teams that can facilitate a sense of belonging for individuals are generally higher performing and find it easier to attract and retain staff, so it was lovely to be able to get a sense of this in the department.
My thanks to Kerry Randall the senior sister and all of the team for looking after me for the afternoon – the best compliment I can pay you all is that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend your services to family or friends having had the chance to see some of your work up close and personal!
23 November 2021
Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.