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WWL asks patients ‘What matters to you?’

Newsdate: 4 June 2018

On Wednesday 6th June 2018, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust will be joining the “What matters to you?” conversation campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage our staff to have more meaningful conversations with the people they support or care for, as understanding the needs of patients has a direct impact on their outcomes.
Building relationships with patients helps our staff understand the person in their care and the things that are most important to them. With this crucial insight staff are in a much better position to work with the person to find the best way forward for them.

Cheryl Finch, staff nurse in the Intensive Care Unit, will be leading the initiative and was prompted to launch the project whilst learning about quality improvement. During her research Cheryl came across a video by Don Berwick, from the Kings Fund, who stated that staff should always ask patients “What matters to you?”. This then led to her discovering the international “What matters to you day?” on 6th June and she decided to promote the cause within WWL.

From 9.30 am on 6th June there will be a display at Entrance 2, on the link corridor of the Wigan Infirmary site. Cheryl and a colleague are inviting members of the public and patients to leave messages of what matters to them on a display at the stand. They are also hoping to engage with staff to encourage this conversation to become standard within everyday practice.

Between 2.00pm and 4.30pm, Cheryl will move to her own place of work outside the ICU to continue having the conversations with her own patients and the relatives and visitors that come to the ward.

Cheryl says: “Asking our patients and relatives the "What matters to you?" question shows that we are not only engaging with them but also demonstrates that we are listening to what people want, need, and hope for. It’s about seeing the patient as a person, improving the patient experience, building trust and strengthening relationships.

Whilst the focus will initially be on the international day Cheryl would like to see the initiative spread throughout the Trust over the next year adding: “I hope that by next June all of the wards and departments across WWL will be involved in celebrating the “What matters to you?” day. A patient once answered the question of what mattered to her, by asking me to make sure that her watch was nearby and not locked in a bedside cupboard. Something as simple as this made all the difference as she liked to know the time and didn’t want to keep asking the nurses.”

Pauline Law, Director of Nursing says: “It is often the very small things that make a difference to our patients. In asking this question we are giving our patients and visitors a voice, and an opportunity for us to understand what’s important to them. I would like to thank Cheryl for leading on this initiative and hope that is something we can embed throughout the whole of WWL.”