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We are listening - to all of our patients

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

Posted by on

About: NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Lynne Linden


As a combined Day Surgery and Endoscopy Unit with a large capacity and throughput, we have been “high hitters” on Patient Opinion and latterly Care Opinion for the past few years.

This has been really encouraging for staff and allowed us to reflect on what we are doing well or what we could change or improve.

However, we recognised that some people accessing our services didn’t have routine access to the internet, nor were they confident about providing feedback online.

We invite all our patients to consider the care and support they have received during their recovery period before leaving the Unit. We worked with Care Opinion to agree a process whereby staff could support people to share their experience or that staff could submit feedback on behalf of the patients.

It was really important to give this group of people the same opportunity whilst maintaining the integrity of the system for staff and Care Opinion, to ensure compliance, transparency and confidentiality.

Care Opinion suggested that by doing this we might see an increase in critical feedback; however, this must be seen as an opportunity for improvement and our team have embraced this. So, time to get the brave pants on!   

We created a corner in our Endoscopy Discharge Lounge dedicated to Care Opinion and Feedback. People can stick post it leaves on the “Feedback Tree” with any comments (we call it our Positivitree!) and we have printed copies of the Direct Ask Flyer to encourage patients to feedback any comments online at home.

We had a discussion with our Recovery Staff and produced written guidelines to ensure that the correct process was followed when taking a story on a patient’s behalf to post online. We discovered that there is now provision to use pictures which opens up the opportunity for so many more people to share their experiences.

I was recently made a "responder" which I found quite daunting! What do I say? How do I say it? How do I ensure I sound sincere? I was advised to just be myself which I thought may be dangerous! So, polite, friendly and personal, with an element of humour if applicable – this just about sums up our staff and is reflected in many of the positive comments we receive.

I feel that it is incredibly important to share the stories with the staff. They are printed out and discussed at our daily briefs. The stories really are a great motivator and reinforce the sense of pride our team have in their unit.

We are continually looking at improvements and although some things don’t happen overnight we do get there.

We recently completed our quiet room for those conversations which require a little more privacy and sensitivity. This is a huge asset and is already being used almost daily by our care providers. We have recently improved the flow for our Day Case theatre patients by introducing a “Good to Go” Lounge and we have already identified a larger area with more scope for privacy; this person-centred improvement journey continues. In Endoscopy we are looking at patient choice in the music played during their procedure, a small but valid project which we hope will enhance our patient’s journey and experience.

If you are willing to share your experience of care through Care Opinion; NHS Lanarkshire staff aim to respond to you within three working days. Please do it, we need to know what we are doing well and what things we might need to review and consider doing differently.

If you have an experience of University Hospital Wishaw 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

Response from Pauline Downie, Professional Lead for Speech and Language Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy Services, NHS Lanarkshire on

Dear Lynne

I love your ideas for supporting people to give feedback using the internet- you have made me have a rethink on how we are supporting our clients with communication difficulties to access this Care Opinion.



Response from Gina Alexander, Director, Care Opinion Scotland, Care Opinion on

Hi Lynne

Many thanks for sharing your experience via the blog.  And I like the advice!  

It's really important for staff to hear from colleagues like you, about the potential but also about the tricky stuff.   Not that we can ever really sugar coat it!

So glad to hear you and the team are reaping the rewards!  Fantastic.

Hope the elastic is holding out 😉

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