Spotlight on: two new colleagues in our Patient Experience team

Our Patient Experience Team brings together a wide variety of feedback from our patients, their relatives and carers which is used to improve services.

The team works in partnership to amplify the patient and carer voice, liaising with colleagues across the hospital to help them encourage patients and visitors to give feedback which is so valuable.

The Patient Experience Team has recently welcomed two new colleagues: Lee Brown, Patient Experience Facilitator (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) and Kathy Kindleysides, Families Liaison Officers Co-Ordinator.

Lee, who previously worked as a students’ opportunities Co-Ordinator at UEA, looks at what barriers are still in place at our hospital for patients with protected characteristics, such as age, ethnicity, sexuality or gender.

“There are many people that might find it difficult to access the care they wanted at our hospital,” said Lee.

“Everyone has a voice and should be heard, and my work is to find those people that are normally described as ‘hard to reach’, listen to them and ensure actions are taken at the hospital to improve accessibility.”

Lee spends some of his time outside the hospital, meeting patients and their carers at events or leasing with other healthcare agencies and local organisations.

“Every letter we send out to a patient needs to be accessible, if for example somebody has dyslexia or learning difficulties. It can be something very simple, but it makes a huge difference to somebody’s hospital experience.

“I am also in contact with a number of minority ethnic and linguistic communities to understand what barriers we can remove to provide them with the best possible care.”

Kathy has recently switched her job as HCA on Earsham ward, where she worked nearly three years, for the role of Families Liaison Officers Co-Ordinator.

“Last year I was very poorly due to Covid-19 and chronic tonsilitis. For this reason, I was no longer able to carry out my duties on the ward,” said Kathy.

“So back in March I started working as a Families Liaison Officer (FLO) and I really loved the role from the start.

“It’s so important to help families to have regular updates on their loved ones. During a day I normally speak to around 20 different relatives, not just via phone calls.

“Then in the afternoons, when visiting is allowed, I greet families, offer them chairs and hot drinks and answer their questions.”

The Families Liaison Service has supported more than 5,000 patients and loved ones since last March.

“The achievement of this team is amazing, and its role is going to be even more important in winter,” said Kathy, who co-ordinates a team of eight FLOs.

Kathy believes that her previous experience on the ward helps her to better understand the needs of families and carers.

“I think that my previous experience has helped as I already felt massively empathetic towards the patients’ relatives and friends. I know that they want to know there’s somebody listening to their concerns and keeping them up to date.

“I believe they trust me, and when I can’t answer a question, I always make sure things are followed through with the clinical teams.”

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