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What matters to you? day

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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About: NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Irene Barkby


Here are my reflections of a rich and at times an emotional day spent connecting with patients, families and staff on what was a beautiful sunny day. I would like to start by saying how proud I am of the staff, volunteers and “friends of” that support and care for the people of Lanarkshire, you are truly inspirational.

What Matters to You? day which falls on 6 June each year is an international day that encourages people to have meaningful conversations about what is important to people; it originated in Norway, but has gathered significant traction in Scotland over the past three years. What I can tell you, is that these conversations are taking place every single day in Lanarkshire between staff and the people and families they are caring for and supporting; not only that, we are listening, learning and acting on what we hear.

I visited a number of areas during the day with Susan Siegel who is a Public Partner with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Hamilton Integrated Community Support Team 4, physiotherapy and nursing staff have been asking patients and carers what matters to them and holding reflective meetings to consider feedback received. Discussing positive and critical feedback openly has enabled the team to establish a psychologically safe space to challenge behaviours and assumptions, identify good practice, or missed care and to identify opportunities for improvement; but there are learning opportunities for all at every meeting.

Hamilton ICST 4 (Lizzie and Rae)

Clydesdale Community Hospitals are working hard to maintain and improve physical and mental wellbeing. We met with patients, therapy and nursing staff, Dr (retd) Ian Kane from “Friends of Lady Home” and the stars of the show, the children of Douglas Primary School, who were chatting with patients, potting plants, drawing and finally singing. These visits are a highlight for the patients who participate in some of the activities that they might not necessarily enjoy because they enjoy the interaction with the children. Whilst this supports the physical and mental wellbeing of the patients it also has benefits for the children. One child who finds reading quite challenging had worked really hard to learn a story as they were going to be reading aloud to a blind person. Thank you Douglas Primary pupils, beautiful singing as well!

Listen here

Forensic Mental Health Services shared some of the fantastic work that they are doing which has been recognised nationally, this includes:

  • the development of care plan template in collaboration with patients for use in mental health settings
  •  lots of vocational initiatives that link patients with the community and providing carpentry and gardening services to maintain the environment of Hamilton West train station is just one example; think about that the next time you are there


Mental health teams used Talking Mats communication system to find out what matters to people

University Hospital Wishaw Sanctuary

What a beautiful and wonderful space this is! The team have developed this space over the past year, installing a large cinema screen, holding events and the culmination of developments and collaborative working saw the opening of the Sanctuary Garden with its Memorial Tree which was made by inmates at HMP Shotts. Truly inspirational; if you are at University Hospital Wishaw and it’s a sunny day (the West of Scotland is renowned for them); please stop by to say hello, or take a few minutes for yourself for some quiet reflection in the garden.

Memorial Tree

Maternity Services have received national recognition for their work over the past few years. We had the opportunity to speak with Margaret who shared her experience of childbirth at University Hospital Wishaw. Her first delivery was complex and challenging and there were lots of things that we could, or should have done differently. This had such an impact on her that when she became pregnant for the second time she was “filled with dread” rather than feeling happy and elated. I’m pleased to tell you that the staff listened to Margaret’s feedback and have made subsequent changes. One of the innovations is the “Birth Choice” clinic run by our Consultant Midwife that enables and supports women who may have experienced difficult and complex deliveries to develop birth plans and help them overcome anxieties and fears. Margaret’s second birthing experience was wholly positive and she was full of praise for all of the healthcare team involved in her ante-natal care and the birth of her daughter. All are doing well.

Spiritual Care Services are working and supporting staff (our most valuable asset), to build resilience and psychological safety. The team deliver Values Based Reflective Practice training, facilitate “Schwartz” rounds which are large scale reflective sessions and run a listening service for both staff and patients. This helps to ensure that we are able to deliver safe and effective person-centred care for all.

Paul Graham & Harry McKenna with Eleanor Grant (Palliative Care Nurse)

Thank you all, you are special people doing extraordinary things every day.

You can find out more about What Matters to You? day by visiting the website

If you have an experience about NHS Lanarkshire that you would like to share please speak to a member of staff, respond on Care Opinion, or visit the “Your Feedback” Section of the NHS Lanarkshire website to see the other ways to get in touch

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