Hospitality and the NHS

I met up with an old friend this week . ‘Naomi’ works in a hotel and was telling me about a module she’s just completed at University based on hospitality . I immediately started to see the connection in our jobs . I work in the NHS but my work is based on hospitality  . 

NHS staff meet strangers on most days of their days at work and it’s how we greet these strangers that sets the bar for the organisation that employs us . I was born and raised in Oldham and I tend to offer cups of tea and biscuits to start the relationship and of course ALWAYS  #HelloMyNameIs founded by the indomitable brave and courageous @GrangerKate . I usually go the extra mile as its in my nature to do this. I relish helping people but I can also read when some do not want help and that’s a useful skill .

Paying someone attention that you are caring for is not about flattery, it is about listening, looking, showing a genuine interest, displaying kindness and asking how you can help them . Have you ever noticed someone looking puzzled at a map of the hospital and realised that they might need help to find their destination? For we are are all on different journeys in our lives . We must be able to recognise body language and behaviour cues . For example, stress can cause people to become quiet or loud , sad or angry , fearful or over confident. 

Perhaps we subconsciously forget the true meaning of the word ‘hospital’ as it actually encompasses all who enter into it which includes relatives and friends of the person being welcomed and cared for . We are responsible for being hospitable towards them just as much.  Each point of contact is a window for others to see how we react , how we care and therefore to recommend us (or not as the case maybe) to their friends and relatives .   We must keep that window clean and shiny and make sure it keeps letting the sunlight in and that its remain transparent to the world outside. 

I googled “Are hospital hospitable?” after my lightbulb moment and found THIS BRILLIANT ARTICLE written in 2005 by Dr Peter McCann M.D.. In the last paragraph he summarises that hospitals should embrace “service in a caring environment” . 

The next time you tell someone that you work at a hospital consider its true meaning . This 8 letter word HOSPITAL is all about the staff who work in it and their job is to display genuine kindness towards others. 

Thank you for reading 

Please comment and share .

With love , 

Jenny ❤️

Against the odds, Care of the elderly, Change management, Community, Compassion, Courage, Discharge from hospital, Helping others, Hospital, Human kindness, Human rights, Kindness, Learning, Media, NHS, NHS Systems and processes, Patient care, Psychology, Respect, Surgery, Women's health, Women's rights

 The role of L❤️VE in healthcare 

I recently rewatched    THIS FILM   of Dr Donald Berwick giving the keynote speech in London 2013 to The International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare. This presentation struck a chord with me . 

In the NHS there are many systems and processes which promote working within the confines of guidance and staffing  . However, time and time again there seems to be omissions about how guidance can encompass love . When people love their job and they feel valued within their particular role the result is better health care . It can’t be a coincidence that this is because if you love your job then in effect you love the people you care for .  

When we talk about “love” it’s sometimes misunderstood – actually being human is about loving others .

 I was once in an orthopaedic ward as a patient following an accident and had to have major surgery on my lower leg – a pin and plate and internal fixation , tendon repairs . This operation left me non-weight bearing for 12 weeks . My mobility was severely compromised . In the bed next to me was an elderly woman let’s call her “Sophie”. Each day I’d watch some staff forget to put Sophie’s drink within her reach and this troubled me greatly . I’d ask staff to move her drink closer and I was usually given ‘the look’ i.e “what business is it of yours?” In fact it was totally my business as a human to care about another human . So I made a decision that I’d make Sophie’s hydration my job and also the job of my visitors . Sophie had no visitors , she was confused and didn’t really talk much . I asked my family to bring her a few bottles of sugar free cordial and set about my mission . On a daily basis I hopped to her bed and made her several drinks over the course of the day – usually out of sight of the staff . I began to recognise when she wanted the toilet as she’d shout out , then I’d alert the staff . This went on over about 6 days and with my visitors helping Sophie was soon rehydrated and talking – in fact she was well enough to go back to the nursing home she had been admitted from . 

So what made me do this ? I didn’t know Sophie and I could’ve just focused on my own recovery. In fact Sophie helped me to find the courage to use my crutches (something I was petrified of using) and she took my mind off my own pain and frustration . Much more than this however I saw myself as Sophie in years to come – ‘sat out’ in a chair unable to move or communicate , hoping for the staff to be kind , for the kindness of strangers to aid my recovery or to ease my loneliness in some way . 

“We are all one another” 

I never told anyone about this before except my family who were also directly responsible for Sophie’s recovery . You see the truth is we didn’t do it for recognition – we de it because we are human 

Thank you for reading 

With love , Jenny ❤️