The annual patient and family experience summit gave clinical staff a personal insight into what it is like to be cared for at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s hospitals in Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract which is facing a financial crisis and criticism over its standards of care.
The event uses real-life stories to help staff see things from the patients’ perspective.
Speakers included Kate Granger, a doctor working in elderly medicine at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and spoke about how her experiences as a patient have changed her practice for the better.
Paralympian Kevan Baker praised staff at the spinal injuries centre for giving him life-long support since a road accident in 1979.
He attributed the care, advice and preparation for life as a paraplegic during his nine months at the centre for some of his later successes.
Andrew Pepper, the trust’s assistant director of finance, talked about his family’s experiences and how staff can best communicate with patients and their families following the death of his father, who had Alzheimer’s, at Pinderfields.
The event was filmed and footage will be used in the future in staff training.
Kate Firth, assistant director of patient experience and quality, said: “Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference to our patients. This event was about influencing practice in our hospitals; we wanted staff to listen to the personal stories being told and to use the experience to change their behaviour and that of their colleagues for the better.”
The trust has seconded Helen Thomson, deputy chief executive and director of nursing at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, as an executive director as part of efforts to strengthen its clinical leadership. She will lead action to improve nursing and clinical standards.
She said: “I am pleased to be asked to help out during this challenging time. I will be working with the trust to ensure that patients get the high quality care they can expect from the NHS.”