Vicky Weaver (pictured in full Santa get-up) is new to HRI day surgery - and her team's efforts for children at Christmas brought tears to her eyes.
“I have been with the Trust for just over 12 months and I am blown away by the lengths my staff on DSU go to, to ensure the Christmas magic lives on from the legacy of Jo… it literally brought tears to my eyes," she said.
The Day Surgery Xmas traditions were started by their colleague, Jo Bingley, who wanted to make it special for our patients. Tragically, after having a baby Jo suffered from post-natal depression and is no longer with us.
The whole team has ensured every child (23 of them) having an op tomorrow, receives a selection box wrapped up and reindeer dust to help Santa’s sleigh on its way.
And, she reckons, that team work and a sense of pride is behind the amazing turnaround in the Friends and Family rating. It was 14% 12 months ago and is now riding high at 89%.
Emma Moon, pictured with Vicky, has prepared 30 bags of reindeer food which comes with a special verse saying: Sprinkle these oats to light the way, For Santa and his reindeer and their magic sleigh, the twinkling dust helps Santa know, to be sure and visit the house below.
On the day the team will be wearing Xmas gear and teddy bears will be given out to every patient.
It's been a major year of change embraced by the team to deliver better care for our patients.
The team have been on training courses in the past 12 months resulting in 12 theatre staff and 18 ward staff having their paediatric life support. In addition to this Vicky is sending two of colleagues; Debbie Blomfield and Cath Glover on the Advanced Paediatric Life Support in March 2017. Staff have also redesigned discharge letters and included pregnancy advice leaflet for teenage girls. With the League of Friends they have also bought an X Box, a Wii and an ipad for older children and the waiting rooms have brain teasers on the wall to distract from what can be a long wait for patients and relatives. New paediatric wall art is up on the corridors making the environment more child friendly. Sam has organised paediatric distraction therapy courses for the band 2 staff to attend.
They also bring in, when available, entertainers and a magician and balloon artists on paediatric day.
Vicky said: “I am immensely proud of all the team on DSU and their outstanding efforts to bring some Christmas magic to children who are admitted to the unit for surgery near Christmas. It has been a long held tradition to prepare and distribute some special reindeer food to help Santa’s reindeer find their way to each child’s home. In addition efforts from ward funds raised mean each child will go home happy, with a selection box as and a teddy as an extra treat.
"The fun continues with staff entering the Christmas spirit by dressing in festive clothing and accessories as an added distraction, though I’m not sure the staff are equally ecstatic at the opportunity to dress up! All-in-all I am thrilled how the team have rallied around, both on the ward and in theatres not just for Christmas but throughout the year, to ensure that children coming to DSU have a pleasant experience in what can be upsetting circumstances.
"I can’t express how proud I am of all the staff who work on DSU. They regularly go out of their remit to ensure that patient safety and experience is at the forefront of the care that is given, even if that means often staying hours after ‘official’ closing time to assist in discharging a patient safely. I think this is captured by the outstanding and consistent positive feedback we have received from friends and family who have had the pleasure of meeting such a great team. "
** Vicky also told CHFT how the mother of a young day surgery patient was recently so blown away by the care and treatment her son received that she told her friends on Facebook. Within a matter of days friends and family had donated a shed-load of gifts which they dropped off at Day Surgery.(see pic).