A team of nurses from NHS Borders were presented with an award for nurse led innovation in practice. This was part of the FoNS (Foundation of Nurses Studies) Patient First Programme, supported by the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Every year FoNS looks for applications from across the UK to apply for its Patient First Programme. The programme offers teams the opportunity to show how nurses, midwives and health visitors are leading innovation and championing a practice culture where care is the best it can be.

NHS Borders’ Patients First project, Collaboration for the Future, aims to work with children, young people, parents, families and staff in a collaborative way to find out how we can use experiences of healthcare to shape future experiences to be more person-centered.

The team, led by Paediatric Nurse Specialist for NHS Borders Ruth Magowan, together with Ann Chalmers, Tracy Millin and Chrissie Smith, is dedicated to capturing the experience of children and their families in NHS Borders.

Ruth said: “When we applied for the FoNs Patient First programme in November 2014 we didn’t have any reliable ways of involving children, young people and their families in designing, evaluating and planning care. Without meaningful involvement from children, young people and their families in the planning and development of our care, a person-centred culture wasn’t being fully achieved.

“Over the course of the project the team has developed creative tools, to listen and encourage engagement with patients and their families. We have gathered feedback in different ways and from as many different points on the patient journey as possible. An important result of this was to realise that what matters to parents often differs from what matters most to children. Staff have been surprised by these results.  By continuing to do this we hope to gain a good picture of our service from the children, young peoples and parents’ perspective.”

Capturing Experiences Ward 15 Resize (1)

For anyone visiting or staying in ward 15 they are warmly welcomed with a vibrant and colourful storyboard of balloons that are full of honest thoughts and feelings from children and parents staying in the ward. The storyboard wall has been designed and introduced as one of tools as part of this project. Children and their families are encouraged to write their thoughts and emotions on display in the balloons, for everyone to see.

Ann Chalmers, Paediatric Nurse Practitioner for NHS Borders said: “When children come into hospital they are often scared and anxious and don’t know what they are coming into. Staff aim to help alleviate that by finding out their stories, what’s worrying them and see what they can do to make it better for them.By introducing the balloon storyboard wall, patient diaries and parent and children feedback workshops we are can use experiences now to improve the experiences of these families and others in the future.”

 To find out more about this project watch a short video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1RaVBERZvU&sns=tw

The next stage of the project is to form a collaborative group of young people, parents and staff to meet regularly to discuss important issues that have been highlighted by patient stories and to act on these to influence future care.

To find out more about this project or to join the collaborative group please contact Ruth Magowan by emailing Rmagowan@qmu.ac.uk.