New service to improve hospital treatment

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HOSPITAL staff have developed a new and improved service designed to minimise discomfort and reduce the time patients needing intravenous infusions spend in hospital.

A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line, is a long, thin, flexible tube which is inserted into one of the large veins of the arm near the bend of the elbow. It is then threaded into the vein until the tip sits in a large vein just above the heart.

The line allows treatment such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, blood transfusions and intravenous fluids to be administered, without patients having needles inserted in to their arm each time treatment is required.

Now a team providing the service at Barnsley Hospital has been expanded and the service can be provided to patients all over the site when needed. The line can be left in for weeks or months and the patient can go home with the line in place. This reduces time they spend in hospital and minimises the discomfort and distress of having numerous needles inserted for each treatment.

Nurse practitioner Sarah Ashton said: “Previously this service was very limited as there were just 
two consultants inserting PICC lines.

“I have now been trained to insert lines in to patients and there is myself and a healthcare assistant to support the consultants. This means we now have the resources to offer this service trust-wide.

“The aim of this service is to improve the patient journey and make the treatment as comfortable, stress-free and effective as possible.”

A new system has been set up at the hospital to make it easier for patients to give feedback on services.

Instead of giving written answers, patients who take part in the NHS-wide Friends and Family Test can now also put tokens in six boxes on a wall on the way out of the emergency department to answer the question: ‘How likely are you to recommend this department to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’