Fourth Charter Mark for Day Procedure Unit
The Arthur South Day Procedure Unit (DPU) was one of the two first day surgery units to be awarded a Charter Mark In 1995, and this year it has achieved its fourth award, making it unique in the UK.
In a letter to the clinical director of the unit, consultant general surgeon Mr David Ralphs, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, wrote: Your achievement clearly demonstrates that customers’ needs and aspirations genuinely form the basis for the design and delivery of the services you provide.”
The DPU now treats an average of 16,000 patients each year for surgery that does not require an overnight stay. The emphasis is on health rather than illness and the unit is designed to provide a non-clinical atmosphere, with comfortable chairs and a wide-screen TV in the waiting area.
Patients are encouraged to make constructive comments and criticism of the service; the appointment system is flexible and all patients are telephoned the day after their surgery to check that all is well.
Mr Ralphs commented: The expansion of day surgery is of prime importance in helping the Trust to meet the targets imposed upon it. The staff in the Unit, who are responsible for this success, are delighted to have the excellence of the service they offer acknowledged in this way. We look to managers and commissioners of healthcare to support and take advantage of this service on their doorstep.”
Notes for Editors
The Charter Mark is awarded by Government and is described as an award that encourages the public service to be the very best. It challenges organisations to set and publish standards and then be accountable to customers for those standards. It encourages innovation and service improvement. Charter Mark holders will offer choice and flexibility to users and will take into account their views and opinions. By achieving the Charter Mark, an organisation can show that it puts its customers first and goes that extra mile. Charter Mark organisations will be standard bearers for customer focus improvements in public service delivery.