• Run by University Hospital of North Staffordshire Children’s Centre.
  • Aimed at improving the quality of care delivered during an asthma exacerbation to provide an exceptional experience for children, young people and their families.
  • Used feedback to make improvements aimed at empowering patients and families.

Between 90 and 120 children a month attend the emergency service at the Children’s Centre at University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust with breathing difficulties due to acute wheezing. This is a distressing situation for the child and an anxious event for their families.

Delivery of evidence based medical interventions improves medical outcomes, but calm informed support by the clinical team helps relieve the anxiety of the child and their families.

This project explored the experiences of the patients and their families and the experiences of the staff providing their care. The team wanted to identify areas where the experience of the patient and family could be changed to improve the experience and to improve the quality of care delivered by the health care provider during an asthma exacerbation.

The project aimed to:

  • develop a detailed understanding of the patient pathway from referral to discharge from the hospital
  • identify contact points between the carers and patient and family where changes can be made
  • develop a set of measures of medical interventions and patient experience to quantify the patient experience
  • make small and repeated improvements to the care experience of patients and families
  • use this methodology to continually improve the care delivered to patients.

The key activities taken to achieve this were:

  • auditing the clinical care against clinical standards set by the British Thoracic Society
  • measuring the patient experience using patient shadowing, focus groups, questionnaires and simple tests of patient satisfaction
  • measuring the experience of staff using questionnaires, focus groups and one to one discussions
  • developing skills in improvement methodology and teaching to other colleagues
  • developing a measurement dashboard to monitor the progress of the improvement project.

Further reading

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Patient and Family-Centred Care: practical tools to improve patient experience

4 June 2014
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