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Improvements on paediatrics ward is child’s play at Hereford County Hospital

Press release – December 9 2021                      

PR 034/2021

Patients and carers visiting the Children’s Ward at Hereford County Hospital have given it an overall vote of confidence in an independent survey.

One of the main improvements singled out in the Children and Young People’s Patient Experience Survey 2021 was the increase in time staff spent playing with children – a crucial activity which helps improve recovery rates in youngsters on the ward.

The survey was carried out by Patient Perspective on behalf of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and covered the period from November 2020 to January 2021. It involved inviting 483 patients and carers to give their views on a range of aspects of their care.

The good news is that compared to the previous survey carried out in 2018, the Trust’s average score has gone up, with 12 individual scores putting it in the top 20 per cent of Trusts.

The Trust improved its results by ten per cent or more in the following areas:


  • Did staff play with your child while they were in hospital?
  • If your child used the WiFi was this good enough on the ward?
  • Did ward staff keep you informed of what was happening to you while you were in hospital?
  • Did you like the hospital food?
  • Was it quiet enough to sleep when needed in hospital?
  • Did the hospital give you a choice of admission dates?                                              

“We’re really pleased with the results of this survey especially as this took place during the pandemic. Being in hospital is a stressful time for children and their carers, but even more so when they had to be isolated and have no visitors due to Covid,” said Matron Fiona Blackwell.

“We strive to make a stay in hospital the best experience we can and we’re delighted that this is evidenced in the improvement of play which is essential for all children and young people. The WiFi access was critical for those young people to keep connected to their friends and family,” added Fiona.

“We’re also very pleased with our improved score for keeping children, young people and their carers informed of what was happening throughout their admission as this communication is essential in alleviating stress.”

Activity has also taken place in other parts of the hospital to improve children’s experiences. Dr Lesley Peers, Consultant Paediatrician and clinical service lead, said: “Since the survey we have opened a children and young people’s area in the Emergency Department to ensure that children and young people are seen quicker and not admitted unnecessarily”.

However, while there are many positives to the survey, the Trust is aware that there is more that can be done to improve the experience of children, young people and carers.

“We’re already addressing areas where we didn’t do so well in the survey and we’re working hard to improve our communication with patients and carers on discharge to ensure they understand the care that is needed at home and what they should do if they are worried.

“While we scored lower for aspects of communication around children having surgery, this survey was carried out during the pandemic when we were only carrying out emergency surgical cases so  it does not reflect our usual service.

“We’re pleased to confirm that we have now resumed our non-urgent surgery and are working hard to improve both the pre and post operative experience.

“We are extremely proud of the whole paediatric team. Everyone has given everything during the last 18 months of the pandemic and this report is yet another reflection of their professionalism and dedication,” added Fiona.

The full report, which is published today, Thursday, December 9, can be viewed on line by following THIS LINK


Notes to Editors WVT:

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
  • By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
  • With an estimated annual turnover of around £185 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye 

Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928
Email: John.Burnett@wvt.nhs.uk

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928
Email: Amanda.Millichip@wvt.nhs.uk

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928
Email:  Fiona.gurney@wvt.nhs.uk


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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