#ExpOfCare Blog: Why you are important to #ExpOfCare

Monday 20th March 2017 by @ckentone

Why you are important to #ExpofCareExpereince 

By Claire Kent, Patient Expereince Lead, Nursing Directorate (Midlands & East) NHS England

Experience of care week coincides with my last few days in a secondment to NHSE (Midlands & East) as Patient Experience Lead. Changing roles, even when it’s going back to one I know, prompts reflection and I’ve been thinking about what #ExpofCare means to me – and how these thoughts have developed over time.

I have been in nursing and the NHS for over 30 years - much has changed and conversely much has not. I still think that the greatest tool in our box is ourselves as human beings: how we connect with people can profoundly affect their experience. If I have one message for those beginning their career it’s never to forget the “softer” stuff. If you get this bit right – with patients, their families and your colleagues, even in the most difficult of times – you will make a difference.

When I think about my nursing journey I remember many faces and stories - some moments and people will stay with me for ever. However, experiences are variable and as a senior nurse I’ve sat with many families as they describe the devastating effect that poor care has had.  These have been really challenging but vital conversations. Yet I’ve also been part of some incredibly positive moments that I know mattered.

Health professionals have stories too and I know what good care feels like. At 4 pm on a November afternoon in 2013 my mum died in my hospital and our experience of end of life care was just as you would wish. At exactly the same time my 10 year old niece was in an outpatient department in London being given the all clear after surgery to remove a brain tumour. I wish everyone’s experiences could have felt so positive.

So remember what’s important in your tool box. Ask yourself: if you worked with you, or were cared for by you, how would you want that to feel?




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