Last week was our first Theatres Action Week where the whole pathway for our patients booked in for surgery - at both hospitals - came under scrutiny.
The week was staged to help us to look at new ways of improving productivity to provide better service for patients.
In a new departure, volunteers from across the Trust, who don't normally see the work in theatres, were invited to join in as observers. Board secretary Kathy Bray,was among the many volunteers from non-clinical departments such as finance, admin and estates to join in. She said: "I would like to say thanks for the opportunity – it was a great experience and if I had done it 20 years ago I might have had a different career in the NHS! It gave me an insight into the many challenges facing theatre staff in terms of both limited time and staffing available". Her Trust HQ colleague, PA to Nursing Director Julie Dawes, Steph Jones, said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the morning I spent in theatre. Staff clearly work closely as a team whilst trying to manage the daily challenges of staffing and when there not enough beds for patients post-op which puts extra pressure on the recovery area."
Clinical Operations Manager for Main Theatres, Sharon Berry, said: "The week went really well. Everyone was really positive. It was all about demystifying theatres and we, in theatres, were asking questions about the way we have always worked and how we can improve the experience for our patients . One of the emerging themes was the need to improve links and communications with all the other departments which we depend on to help us run our theatres.It was also an opportunity for people to go behind closed doors into our theatres to see all the activity involved in getting a patient ready for surgery, into theatre and into recovery."
Estates director Lesley Hill, our executive lead for theatre productivity, said: " The teamwork was superb. From very early on the nurses were running around getting the patient and theatres ready for our patients, the surgeons and anaesthetists. There is so much preparation involved to ensure our theatres service runs smoothly." She said other initiatives including contacting patients two days before to ensure they were still fit and ready for surgery also helped. People bevng in on time, reliable IT and equipment in full working order also contributed to the day.
Membership Councillor Peter Middleton joined the dental list at HRI on Friday morning. He said: " What comes across is the huge enthusiasm of the teams. They have that spark of wanting to make it happen. Yes, the analysis and data will come out in due course but what was very evident on the day, when I was there, was the overriding impression of enthusiasm and commitment to make it successful for our patients."
**Sorry folks, we only managed to get photos from HRI this time!