Building bridges to improve patient care

Susan Smith from Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust talks about how her service had a direct impact on improving patient care by putting people in touch with each other.

Image: ‘Cafe con leche – Milchkaffee (CC)’

The library offers volunteers full membership of its services and the library is currently working with the group to develop a storytelling service on the wards. One day the volunteer manager, brought down one of the volunteers to join the library. She told me a tale of a patient with dementia she was assigned to and how communicating some of the most basic needs could be challenging. Later that day we had a visit from one of our regular Speech and Language Therapists (SLT) about the issue and she offered to provide picture boards to volunteers and family so patients could communicate if they wanted tea or coffee etc. This information was communicated to the volunteer’s manager who is now aware of the service and can direct volunteers if they have similar needs in the future.