Major trauma ward opens

Major trauma ward opens

I am delighted to say our new major trauma ward officially opened for business on Monday.  The ward includes 2 x 5 bedded bays, and is at the bottom of Ward 14.  We’ve been trying to open this dedicated ward for trauma patients for some time, but because the hospitals have been very busy we’ve not had enough time and space to move patients around to refurbish the area and get the set up just right.  Because of the delays in getting to this phase lots of staff had lost faith it would ever happen, but we’ve finally made it – thanks everyone for your patience and I hope you understand how challenging it can be to make changes like this in a busy hospital.  But we said we’d do it, and we got there in the end.

Lots of our staff, from the estates team, porters, and domestic staff to our nursing staff, clinicians, managers, and Jo Connolly from the Major Trauma Network, have worked together to set up the new ward, which is an important element of the service we provide as a Major Trauma Centre, and which will really improve the pathway for patients who experience a significant injury.

Saffy I visited the ward on Thursday last week, and was extremely impressed by the environment, and more importantly, by the team.  The ward has only been in place since Monday, and they’ve clearly been really busy getting everything up and running.  The ward was calm, everything was organised, patients were well looked after, and they were positive – so the team is already doing a great job.  The team is led by Michelle Durkin, Modern Matron, and Sarah Storey, Ward Manager, who were telling me how important quality and safety is on the ward, and they’ve clearly started as they mean to go on.  I saw the Performance Board is in place and up to date so staff, patients and visitors know who’s who on the ward, and how we’re doing, and everything was running smoothly.  Every member of staff I met was positive, competent, and knew what they were doing.  They all knew their patients – and treated everyone with respect.  So together that’s a great recipe for delivering safe and effective care.

I also spoke with Victoria Hawksworth, our Major Trauma Nurse, who is brimming with enthusiasm and commitment and she was saying how important it is for their patients to have lots of support and move through their treatment seamlessly.  Many trauma patients are young and sustain injury through accident – so are often fighting fit and going about their business one moment and their world is turned upside down the next.  She is clearly very driven to make sure they get the support they need to return to their lives as well as possible.  I spent some time with each patient on the ward to ask them about their experience. Without exception they couldn’t praise the staff highly enough –doctors, nurses, AHPs, cleaners and porters. They said the ward felt calm, professional, they could sleep at night because care was taken to keep noise levels low. Most of all they felt they were ‘in the right place’ and were confident in the skills of everyone looking after them at possibly the most traumatic times of their lives.

Catherine Silcock, our Head of Nursing for the newly formed Surgical Division, has worked really hard since she came into post to reorganise the wards, and with the help of lots of colleagues has already moved Surgical Assessment Unit down to the front door alongside the Emergency Decisions Unit, and next will be looking at sorting out the designated vascular ward.  So lots of positive changes in our Surgical Division in the pipeline.  More on that to come but if you want any info in the meantime ask Catherine for an update.

So a big thank you to everyone who has worked together to get the major trauma ward established.  I spoke with every patient on the ward and without exception everyone was positive about the team looking after them, and about their care.  One patient told me that everything has been faultless, and every member of staff, from doctors to the shop floor has been amazing.  I can’t ask for any better than that, well done everyone.