Caring and Compassionate #BournemouthBirthCentre #MaternityUnit


I was honoured recently to be a birthing partner for someone having their baby in the Bournemouth Birth Centre. It was their second baby but their first time in Bournemouth.

What can I say but WOW what an amazing experience from the moment we walk in through the door to the after care and so much more.

The unit itself is truly marvellous. Its modern, with a welcoming Reception area, extremely friendly and spotlessly clean. You get a feeling of being welcomed and that feeling never went away.

The midwives and maternity healthcare assistants couldn’t have done anymore for us all. Myself and the dad to be was included in every part of the care throughout the stay.

The birthing room itself was large, well equipped, gentle music playing in the background and a birthing pool with its gentle lightening to the therapeutic aromatherapy oils gently whispering through the air. A fully equipped en-suite just made this room everything that could possibly be needed.

The little touches in the unit were amazing. Lovely names for each of the birthing suits.

Beautiful phrases on the walls

and each time a baby is born there is a place for them in Reception on a blue or pink lamb with the date of birth and the weight and apparently in a years’ time they will be sent this lovely memento to keep.

Whilst in the earlier stage of labour we took a slow walk around the lovely lake so beautifully landscaped in the grounds of the hospital. Certainly, a place of tranquil and beauty for patients and visitors to enjoy. It was early evening, it was quite as we watched the birds on the water, and the tiny rabbits playing in the grass. Seating all around for us to pause while another contraction took hold.

Lots of tea and coffee, laughs and hugs and the most amazing experience watching their baby son coming into the world. This is one experience that I will cherish forever and this was made possible by the very caring and compassionate members of staff.

The parents spent the night bonding together in the Birthing Centre with their new son the husband having his own bed for the night it really was like home from home.  The following morning, they welcomed their 2-year-old in to meet his new brother. It was so very relaxed and emotional. Family time just the four of them for the first time together.

The care didn’t end when they left the unit. They were encouraged to phone if they had any queries or worries, was told they could come back to the until if they felt the need and their midwife followed up with a phone all 3 days later to see how they were all doing. What a fantastic service.

I cannot praise the unit enough. I honestly don’t think they would have got any better treatment if they had paid privately. The whole experience was 5*. This indeed just shows how fantastic our NHS is and how extremely lucky and proud we are to have this wonderful hospital on our doorstep.

what a lovely start to a new life

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Working Together #NHS #111 #A&E #GPSurgeries


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Sadly, as most of you are all aware there is a lot of negative publicity in the press at the moment about our great NHS service and sadly some of it with good reason.

It saddens me to read some of the dreadful reports about patient care and those working for the NHS being abused and often overworked. Working for the NHS and being a patient I can see a lot of this from both sides.

Doctors surgeries are busting at the seams with patients struggling to get appointments. Practices are merging together but are they able to continue to offer the service they did before?

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The Ambulance service is stretched and A&E are struggling to find beds resulting people being treated in corridors, whilst Ambulance crews are held up in the car parks with patients on board waiting to be seen and treated, often resulting in the ambulance crew not being available to go to the next emergency.

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Sadly, there are still the time wasters and abusers of the service. Those that call that emergency ambulance when all they needed was a GP appointment, the hoax callers that can tie up the emergency services for hours before they finally find that there was no “emergency” to those that present at A&E for minor ailments. Working in the past in A&E it never ceased to amaze me just what people would present with at A&E with. (I have written other blog stories when I worked in A&E)

As a Manager working in the NHS it’s a hard job. Struggling on a daily basis, trying to hit targets, wanting to give best patient care is almost impossible, dealing with staff that are forever under pressure on the front line and answering to stressful those who need to be obeyed.

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As a Receptionist, you will never please everyone, and many will be sure to be vocal and let you know how unhappy they are and often blame you for the “awful service”.  Telephones ringing constantly, people demanding urgent appointments that you just haven’t got, GP’s and Managers constantly asking the impossible from you, and all while you are working for barely more than the minimum wage.

Hearing from friends, updates on social media and press reports everyone is struggling to be seen resulting in people misusing the NHS because they had no alternative.

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A friend recently phoned 111 (for my overseas readers this is an out of hours service which covers GP surgeries when they are closed – an excellent service which gives patients 24/7 cover). My friend felt very unwell, sore throat, temperature and generally feeling very unwell. She spoke to somewhere at the 111 Service, for whatever reason the 111-service suggested she took paracetamol and phone her GP surgery the following morning. She had a bad night and phoned her GP Surgery first thing the following morning. Her surgery was unable to offer her an appointment and she explained how ill she felt, she was than advised if she continued to feel unwell to take herself off to A&E – as ill as she felt she would have never done this but many might have acted on this advice. She left it another 24 hours and phoned the surgery again where she was given an appointment for that day where she was given Antibiotic and Steroids for a chest infection.

My husband was recently poorly at a weekend, as thought he had a nasty chest infection. I phoned to see if we could get an appointment at a local Treatment Centre (the out of hours service where you can see a GP). After giving the operator all his symptoms (he was breathless due to the cold/chest infection) the operator said they she recommended that they send an ambulance out to him. The protocol said that if the patient was breathless or had breathing problems that an ambulance should be sent. There was no way that he needed an ambulance, he could have actually driven himself to the Treatment Centre, he was ill but not that ill, and even if he was I could have driven him there.

I believe that both of the above where 2 incidents where the emergency services (A&E and an ambulance) were not needed. I know that people have protocols to follow but in these two instances the patients could just have been seen and treated by a GP.

Do we need to look at the bigger picture, to look as how we can signpost people in the right direction, to ensure that people who need A&E are seen, and those that can see a GP do so? We have a great NHS, we can see a GP free, we have GP cover 24/7 and at a last resort we have a great emergency service in the ambulance service and A&E. It’s important that everyone needs to see those that are appropriate to them. Is there anything that we can do together to ensure that this happens most of the time?

I would be very interested to hear from my many overseas followers on how their GP Practice work. How does your routine appointment system work and when patients request emergency appointments what is your practice policy and does you’re A&E Departments get clogged up with people who don’t need to be there?

 

© 2011-2018 Reception Training all rights reserved

Happy Patients #guestpost


imagesCAUP3U1DThe guest post today is from someone I don’t personally know, but with her permission I would like to share it with you, and to stress how important it is to keep patients informed when the Doctor or Nurse is running late. Quite often patients are not annoyed at the delay in their appointments, it the “not knowing and lack of communication” that can quite often bring on frustration and anger.

By informing the patients that there is a delay you are taking away a possible frustrated patient coming to the desk demanding to know what is happening when their appoitment times has come and gone – it then too late the damage is  already done – the patient is angry and you as the Receptionist is more than likely to get the brunt of it.

Guest post:

“I had a Hospital apt today at Aintree Hospital here in Liverpool mum came with me, the clinic was running late. Billy the senior HCA was rushing around everywhere making sure everyone was ok and informed us all of the delay “no wonder he’s so thin he never stands still” mum commented. We went through from 1 waiting room to another and was again informed of the delay that there were 3 doctors on and were doing their best. Around 10 minutes later mum started nattering to the lady sat next to her, the lady said “there is a delay my apt was at 10:30am” mum “it is what it is, where would we be without our NHS”. No amount of waiting time is a problem for me or my mum if it means we keep our NHS, I am NHS staff myself and I love our care system its the best in the world and we should all fight to keep it. The poor doctor I saw had a packet of biscuits on his desk to keep him going, clearly working through his lunch”

 

I have previously written a post on keeping patients informed:

When The Doctor/Nurse is running late. http://t.co/Tlnpi4OD

 

The Unsung Heroes’ of the NHS #Porters


I came across this short film featuring porters from the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in Dorset.

The 12 minute piece, entitled Porters, tells the story of those who work in the what some deem to be one of the most unnoticed sectors of the NHS, but their role is more than just transferring patients from A to B.

I recall chatting to a cleaner once and I asked her opinion on something. She was surprised that I had asked such question and she confessed that she felt her role as a cleaner didn’t matter and in her words she said “I am only a cleaner, I don’t really count”

Everyone counts, from the cleaners to the CEO’s and everyone has the right to respect and recognition for the job that they do.

After all, if a hospital or a Surgery was never cleaned to a suitable standard then that establishment could risk being shut down.

The NHS has many unsung heroes’ that need recognition and thanks for the “unnoticed work” that they do.

As a Manager or Departmental Head it is important that you make everyone in the team feel valued.

Warning” the film contains occasional swearing.

I hope you enjoy the clip

Royal Bournemouth Porters #unsungHeroes

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer Care At Its Best


 

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I have a friend that has recently be diagnosed with cancer and she is facing many weeks of chemo. Her hair is falling out, and she has got those dreaded mouth ulcers amongst other things. But through this she is staying positive and I must say she is pretty amazing.

What keeps her so positive?

It’s the support she has from her family and friends. But that’s not all, she has shared with me the support she has received from everyone involved in her treatment and the care she has received has just been incredible, she has found every single person caring for her in the NHS just amazing.

From the Receptionists at her doctor’s surgery, to the doctors and nurses, hospital transport and volunteers at the hospital she has found every single one of them helpful and informative.

It’s not just the treatment that plays a big part in someone getting better and staying positive, it’s a lot to do with they support that they received from every single healthcare professional that is involved in their care.

Being a Medical Receptionist is more than customer service, its patient care at its best.

You could make someone’s treatment just that little bit more bearable in the way that you deal with them when they visit your surgery.

Always treat someone they way you would want to be treated.

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

New Receptionists Training (1)


I will be sharing some of the training that I did with Receptionists whilst working within the NHS.

My aim was to train staff in all areas of customer care. You might think that some of it is very basic and perhaps a bit too obvious. But believe me – there is nothing I took for granted.

A lot of the time I employed Receptionist that were returning to work after several years being a full-time mum, some had never worked in an office environment before and other had never worked on a Reception desk before.

Some of them did not know how to answer a telephone and deal with the call  in a professional manner.

What I did see was the potential in these people, they were keen to work, were very loyal and extremely good at customer care. So my duty to them was to ensure that they were supported in every way and this included training to help them in their roles.

I believe that fully trained staff are confident staff. And confident staff are usually very good at their jobs.

We take it for granted that when the Doctors Receptionist answers the phone she knows what she is doing, the patient puts their trust in that person answering the phone.

The same when a patient comes to the desk, again the trust is put in the Receptionist to guide them to the appropriate healthcare personal. This can only be done with training. And everyone has to start somewhere.

I have seen it all too often, new Receptionists are left to a more senior Receptionist to train them – it works well most of the time, but there are areas that perhaps a mentor does not want to do.

I had senior Receptionists coming to me saying that the new Receptionist might not have been very good on the telephone, although they dealt with the call it could have been handled more efficiently. But they didn’t feel it their place to tell the new Receptionist how to answer the telephone, what to say, how to dress and how to speak to people at the Reception Desk. And I had to agree –they were busy enough doing their own tasks, busy enough having to show a new person the ropes, so I decided that every new receptionist would have “New Receptionist Training”.

We all have to start somewhere and where better with the appropriate training that is needed for the job!

My blog will share will you the contents of the training – but the best part of the training was the two-way participation – each section was analysed, discussed and if appropriate sometimes changed. I was always will to listen to new ideas and ways of improving our service to our customers and staff.

It was my experience from working on the Front Desk that set me up through my Career – so what better way is to “listen” to others – many changes, procedures and policies were put into place listening to the staff that work so very hard on the Front Desk.

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

Hello world!


I started working in the NHS just over 15 years ago. I started as
a Receptionist and through the love for the job and hard work I worked my way
up to a Manager for a large GP Practice in the North.

I started in a GP Practice thinking like many that it would be
“a nice little job” – how very wrong was I. The hours were long and
at times antisocial, the work was never-ending, and the role of the
receptionist was not an easy one as I quickly found out.

Anyone that is a Doctors Receptionist will tell you that you don’t
do the job for the money – you do it because you love it. Many Receptionists
around the country are working for just over the minimum wage.

As a Receptionist you are always “piggy in the middle”
the Doctors on one side and the patients on the other – wanting different
things and pulling in different directions – but all wanting their own way. So
spare a thought for the poor Receptionist when you think she is being awkward –
quite often she is told that is what she has to do.

Oh don’t get me wrong – I know that there are some “Dragon
Receptionists” out there – I have come across them myself – but I think of it
this way – that is them – wherever they worked they would be the same – it’s
not being a Doctors Receptionist that has made them like it – it’s just them!.

I soon discovered that this was a job that I really enjoyed, I
finally had found a job that I got a great deal of satisfaction from I didn’t
realise it then, but this was the start to a great career – I would never in my
wildest dreams could have believe what I was about to achieve within the next 5
years.

I would like to share my life during this time, the ups and the
downs working within the NHS. Working for a GP Surgery and working in NHS and
Private hospitals the different personalities that I came across from Doctors
to Patients – the nicer side of people and the not so nicer side.

Some of my stories are funny and some are sad, plenty of ups and
downs and really to let you have some sort of insight on what happens on the
other side of the desk.

The events described in my blog are based on my experiences as a
Receptionist and Manager. For obvious reasons of privacy and confidentiality I
have made certain changes, altered identifying features and fictionalised some names
and aspects, but my blog remains an honest reflection of life as a Receptionist
and Manager working within the Healthcare Sector.

I hope you enjoy my blog.

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved