15th March 2016

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Jim Mackey boss of NHS Improvement Tickets here 
We have moved to a bigger room and have just released a further allocation of tickets
Nearly all gone.....

Ask ourselves
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
I wrote this last Friday, on another train.  I was doing a dash to Carlisle to speak and have a listen to an interesting conference on innovation and world health. 
Ironic really, the mobile phone signal on the train was hopeless;  3G and one bar at best, with tantalising flashes of two and three to remind me; civilisation was out there somewhere.  The wi-fi intermittent and so slow I could grow a beard whilst I'm waiting for a download.  I gave up.
I know I bang on about the trains but they are hopeless.  Today the shop's credit card machine isn't working.  It took me by surprise and the indignant attendant said he'd made 'an announcement'.  So, that's alright then.
Fortunately I'd been to the cash machine so I was able to buy a coffee for me and one for a complete stranger.  A very nice lady in a pink cardigan and black dress. She only had a credit card.
She promised to send me the money.  I decided not to give her my address.  Well, these days you never really know...
To pass the time I made a trip to the loo.  Acrid smell.  Piddle all over the floor.  The soap dispenser worked if you yanked it hard enough and the water trickled like an Ethiopian tap.  The hand dryer?  There's more hot air in an MP.
The green fields and blue sky flashed by.  Huddles of farm buildings.  Seagulls strutting across flooded fields.  A solitary white, wind turbine waved as I passed by and plunged into the unexpected darkness of a tunnel.  Blinking back in to the sunlight; greeted by rows of naked trees, turning their faces to the sun, looking to spring for their new clothes.
The train windows were caked in mud and the striations of fast travel.  It's hard to imagine when they were last washed.
Rate my experience?  If the purpose of travel is to arrive on time; ten out of ten.  If there is a nobler purpose, to journey, to voyage... one.
The passenger experience.  I took my mind back to the visit I two weeks ago, to the Northern in Sheffield.  They have a very neat approach to ward improvement; they will be sharing it on the Academy website any time soon.
One of the volunteers they have working with them did a survey, asking patients about improving the patient experience.  Accessing a daily newspaper was the major gripe.  Easily fixed.  Other things about meals and noise we sorted.
Knowing what was going to happen to them was a reasonable request and that led to structured multi-disciplinary rounds.  They saved an hour on the usual approach and included patients sitting in on side-room discussions.  

They were consultant led.  That had the knock on effect of changing outpatient clinics and that led to the recruitment of an endoscopy nurse.
The NHS is a whole system.  Fiddle with one bit and you'll end up having to fiddle with the next bit and the next bit and the next bit.
Fixing the patient experience isn't so tricky.  It is the little things that make the difference.  Patients seldom worry about the techniques we use, to make them well again. They have no idea what happens in the operating theatre; is a cemented hip better than a screw fix?
We are judged by what people know about.  They know the difference between a clean and dirty bog.  They can see a nicely presented gammon and chips with a parsley garnish.  They are used to free Wi-Fi in the local coffee shop and wonder why a big place like a hospital can't manage it.
They know when they hurt and have a reasonable expectation that they shouldn't.  They know the difference between tenderness and a busy brush-off.  They know, when relatives can't visit every day because on a budget, where every penny is spoken for, the car-park charges aren't manageable.
They know when they are low and we try and lift their spirits, they are in good hands.  If they are fearful, they know when they are reassured.  They know when we find the time to treat them like an individual and unique.
They don't know what we know, why should they?  But we should know what they know... because, after all, we only have to ask ourselves.
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