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A day in the life of a Senior Patient Experience Facilitator

Maria Walker crop

What does a day in the life of a Senior Patient Experience Facilitator look like?
My job is essentially the link between the patient’s experience and their health outcomes - patients who have a better experience of care, generally have better health outcomes. 


I gather patient and staff stories for education and reflection and consider this to be an extremely effective way of humanising an experience when a story teller is not present. Showing films to staff groups is a very powerful way of getting a message across and it brings to life the lasting impact that certain experiences can have on people both in a positive and negative way.


I also support the patient leadership programme which brings clinicians, managers, patients and staff together to work on a number of Trust and Integrated Care Partnership projects. More recently I have become a mentor to two patient leaders which is a great honour and hugely rewarding.


Earlier this year I was involved in a great piece of work with Claire Lord, the sister in the Children’s Clinic, on engaging the minds of our young patients. Claire and her team pulled out all the stops to gather feedback from this group. This project was a real morale boost, since the feedback was so positive.


How did you become a Senior Patient Experience Facilitator?
My personal life and career at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) have been very much entwined.  I have twin daughters who were born here and are now 5 years old. One of them had 14 hospital admissions before her fourth birthday, so it’s fair to say I’ve had my share of living the hospital experience!  We both received superb care, medically and holistically, and we are extremely grateful to everyone involved. I feel huge gratitude to both the NHS and more importantly, our hospital.


What do you enjoy most about your role?
I work with an amazing team on a wide range of initiatives.


I sit on the Trust’s dementia steering group and represent carers, sharing their feedback with the group. Through this, we have recently put together two carers’ stories which have been shared with the Board and across the Trust for learning purposes. This has led to a number of improvements in our services and that’s been incredibly rewarding.


One of the most successful projects to date has been the “#Hellomynameis…” – a national campaign launched by Dr Kate Granger when she was being treated for terminal cancer and felt health professionals should always introduce themselves to patients. We worked with a patient leader who is a volunteer and works with us on projects across the Trust. Their expertise was crucial to the success of this project and it has been great to see how the whole Trust has embraced it.


Do you enjoy working at Royal Berks?
I am very proud to say that I am Senior Patient Experience Facilitator here at the RBH. I feel my current position is the best to date and gives me a real opportunity to make a difference.


There are so many highlights to my job and I could go on but I would like to make special mention of our partnership work with our local Sikh community who do an enormous amount of voluntary work for our community in Reading.


What would you say to someone starting a job in Patient Experience?
Patient experience is an exciting career path and will enable you to work alongside patients and staff to deliver good care. 


Our work in the Patient Experience team is always evolving. It’s a real honour and privilege to work at the RBH and I look forward enthusiastically to my future career here. 


    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
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    Tel: 0118 322 5111
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