"Paediatric cancer care"

About: Birmingham Children's Hospital / Clinical oncology

(as a friend),

I am the family friend of a young patient undergoing regular in-patient chemotherapy.

Some of my general observations about BCH Ward 15:

Staff generally helpful but at times arrangements seem quite disorganised.

Noise on the ward is a real issue both at night and during the day, making rest very difficult both for patient and the admitted parent. This is as much down to staff noise as noise from other patients.

Parents need to be able to function as parents at the point of discharge, and parental exhaustion is a real issue. Understandably care focussed on the patient, but support to facilitate better eating and sleeping for the admitted parent would surely result in better outcomes for the child once back home (particularly for lone parents with other siblings to care for).

Parent’s facilities apparently undergoing improvements but currently these are woefully inadequate.

Often confusion about bed availability and delays in getting treatment started whilst beds become available. Could be resolved by better scheduling – only calling people in once beds are available.

The worst aspect, however, really is noise on the ward, and this is surely about ward culture and what is deemed acceptable by senior staff.

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Responses

Response from Deputy Head of Nursing, Patient Experience & Participation Lead, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Eternal Optimist,

Thank you for your comments as a family friend of a young patient undergoing chemotherapy, I sincerely hope the treatment is going well.

It is good to hear that the staff are helpful, however I am sorry that there are other aspects of care which could be improved upon at what must be a very difficult time for you all.

Your observation around the need for the support and care of parents whilst they are here in order to be able to function as parents on discharge is a very valid one and something we would always encourage staff to be mindful of, I am sorry that this does not appear to have been the case for your friend and that in particular noise at night appears to have been of concern.

Your comments have been forwarded to the Ward Manager and Head of Nursing for Ward 15 to address and respond to.

I will post their response on this site, however if you would prefer us to respond directly to you or your friend, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your experience further with you.

If there is anything further I can help with please do not hesitate to contact me on the number below.

Kind regards,

Janette Vyse,

Lead for Patient Experience & Participation

Tel: 0121 333 8619

Response from Deputy Head of Nursing, Patient Experience & Participation Lead, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Eternal Optimist

Thank you for your constructive feedback. It is very helpful for us to understand the areas we need to improve as well as the things we are doing well.

The ward staff have been made aware of your comments via a written memo.

We have reminded the staff of the way noise travels at night. We have highlighted the issue with our senior nurses who work regular nights, they will take a lead on this and make sure that the ward is a quieter place at night time.

We have also reminded the nurses that when they plan the daily care of the children with their parents this needs to include how the parents can be supported to take a break away from their child.

As has already been stated, if you or your friend would like to discuss anything in person, you are very welcome to do so.

Jacky Hotchin

Clinical Lead Nurse, Haematology/Oncology

0121 333 9149

Response from Birmingham Children's Hospital

Thank you for your constructive feedback. It is very helpful for us to understand the areas we need to improve as well as the things we are doing well. The ward staff have been made aware of your comments via a written memo. We have reminded the staff of the way noise travels at night. We have highlighted the issue with our senior nurses who work regular nights, they will take a lead on this and make sure that the ward is a quieter place at night time. We have also reminded the nurses that when they plan the daily care of the children with their parents this needs to include how the parents can be supported to take a break away from their child. If you or your friend would like to discuss anything in person, you are very welcome to do so. Jacky Hotchin Clinical Lead Nurse, Haematology/Oncology 0121 333 9149

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