Patients attending Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Emergency Department will now benefit from clearer signs and information following the successful completion of a project.
Digital screens in waiting areas and some cubicles now display latest information which will soon also link to the hospital’s Electronic Patient Record system to give accurate waiting times in each area of the department.
New signage has gone up with improved maps, information about the team and department and better signage outside to help people find the department and primary care unit.
The changes came about following a research project called Quality Time which aimed to look at the experience for patients, their carers and staff of being in the Emergency Department (ED). Among other things, this highlighted the need to provide better information for patients and staff.
A successful bid was made to the hospital’s CEO transformation fund to develop ideas for improving patient information.
Dr David Mossop, ED and Intensive Care Unit consultant, said: “There is good evidence that giving patients and their carers a better understanding of what to expect in ED, the alternatives to coming to ED and an accurate idea of how long they might need to wait, reduces significantly their anxiety but can also reduce the frequency of aggression towards staff.
“We have been working with a design team, patients, patient groups and staff to develop a better way of sharing information and also to develop a smarter identity for our signs in the department.”
Chief Executive of Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Steve McManus, said: “It is such an important priority to ensure that information for patients is as clear as possible and easy to understand. This is a great piece of work which is another step towards making the emergency department a better place for our patients and staff.”
The Quality Team project also highlighted the need to improve the space and physical environment which resulted in a new extension being built in 2016. Support for volunteers and staff has also been improved with regular mental health training now provided to help staff support patients.
A celebration was held on Friday (26 April) to mark the completion of the work which was attended by clinical staff as well as patients and other service users.