Helping people to smile with style

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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picture of Anne Leitch


Our “Porters” strike up a great rapport with people as they are transferring them around the hospital. People often chat about why they are in hospital, their friends, families and interests and how they are feeling.

Some porters had received comments from patients that they felt embarrassed about their appearance when moving through public areas when in hospital.

Ideas from Serco staff are encouraged through an internal programme called Serco Cares. The portering staff shared this feedback and we decided to look into the possibility of providing a hairdressing service for patients during their stay in hospital.

We felt this would have multiple benefits for patients as it could boost wellbeing and self-esteem and promote positive mental health.

“Styles & Smiles” opened at University Hospital Wishaw on 23 April 2019 and is a collaborative project between Summit Healthcare, NHS Lanarkshire, New College Lanarkshire and Serco Health.

Scotland football star James McFadden & Gordon Duncan from Radio Clyde opening Styles & Smiles.

New College Lanarkshire provide a hairdressing service each Tuesday & Wednesday from 9am to 5pm

and a Barber’s Service each Friday from 9am to 5pm (during school terms).

New College Lanarkshire students gain working experience in a hairdressing environment, strengthening their communication skills while caring for others. The hairdressers work is assessed by New College Lanarkshire while on University Hospital Wishaw site.

Local business, The Glass Man, provided all mirrors and signage free of charge. This was extremely generous and demonstrates the level of support via this local business. The Glass Man offered his valuable input in relation to what was required within the salon. In addition to the mirrors the signage was an added bonus.

New College Lanarkshire are supplying the hairdressing free of change. In addition to this, they are supplying all hair products used at no cost.

More than 300 people have used this service since it opened, and feedback has been extremely positive.

Thank you to all staff and partners who have worked so hard to make this happen; everyone can make a difference.

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

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