Staff Governor at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is encouraging as many people as possible to have their say on the New Hospitals Programme because, in his experience, speaking up really can make a difference.
My day-to-day job is Appointment Clerk, Radiology Booking, MRI Scanner. I’ve worked at the Trust since 2009 and have always had lots of ideas about how to improve things and make a difference for staff and patients, but with everyone so busy, it’s not always easy to get your voice heard.
When I realised that there were systems in place to make sure that staff can do exactly that, I jumped at the chance and became a Staff Governor. I’m now in a position where I’m easily able to speak to the right people quickly and in some cases, have seen my ideas become a reality.
The improvement I’m most proud of is managing updates to the site map at Royal Preston Hospital. There were places on site where the maps were not up to date and people looking for the canteen would often find themselves in the Scanning Department (which is based in the old canteen.) If you don’t come to hospital very often, this can be very confusing.
When I realised why this was repeatedly happening, I emailed the Chief Executive directly and within a matter of weeks, I’d worked with a team to make the updates to the map a reality. These small changes really can make a huge difference to our patients and their families. I believe that as Staff Governors, we have a responsibility to keep our eyes out for anything that can make hospital life easier.
Next, I’m hoping to work with the Communications Team to make changes to our website, to help people who are not from Preston navigate their visits to hospital. I think information like directions to the car park and how to pay for parking could be easier to find on the website. It’s often something that is a worry when people make their journey and I believe we should do everything we can to make that experience easier.
It’s such an amazing opportunity for the region and I welcome the chance to make changes.
There are obvious concerns around where new facilities might be and how they would be accessed, particularly in an emergency, but I know those will be considered and we’ll all be consulted. In my role in appointments (and in my previous role which was in medical records) I’ve seen first-hand how the number of patients who are coming to see us is increasing so I’d say it’s inevitable that changes need to be made.
It’s not just staff who can become Governors; patients can become Volunteer Governors as well, the first step to which is becoming a Foundation Trust Member. NHS Foundation Trust Members and Governors have access to all the up-to-date information about hospital facilities including the New Hospitals Programme.
Other ways to get involved can be found on the Get Involved page of the programme’s website. I’ve shown how speaking up can really make a difference and I’d encourage others who have ideas, concerns and feel strongly about our hospitals to do the same.
Author: Piotr Spaldo, Staff Governor at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
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