Young patients at Walsall Manor Hospital should be able to drift off to the land of nod much easier thanks to a Quiet Protocol that was introduced this week.
Patient Experience Surveys have shown that patients often have trouble falling and staying asleep due to noisy and often too bright environments and this impacts on their recovery.
While some noises in the hospital setting are unavoidable, others can be stopped or reduced – such as door slamming, bins lids banging, noisy equipment /squeaky beds or trolley wheels, other patients being loud, visitors and staff talking ‘loudly’ amongst themselves.
Ward 21, Children’s Ward, has now introduced a “Quiet Protocol” – an initiative introduced across adult inpatient wards last year.
Caroline Whyte, Divisional Director of Nursing, Children and Young People, at the trust, said: “Our children’s ward is a very busy environment 24 hours a day. Our feedback from the children and families is that they struggle to sleep at times due to the noise. I am hopeful that the measures we take will improve the experience of our children and families and they will get a better night’s sleep.”
Kuldeep Singh, Patient Experience Manager at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Noisy ward environments also have detrimental effects on staff. This noise can amplify work pressures, make communication difficult, increase chances of errors and make staff feel fatigue and burnout.”
The Quiet Protocol preparation starts with ‘wind down’ at 7 pm with ward staff taking the last evening round as an opportunity to prepare children for the night shift, helping them to relax by offering available amenities as part of the protocol.
The protocol is initiated from 7pm – 6am when all staff are encouraged to reduce controllable noises.
Children and their carers will also be encouraged to implement the Quiet Protocol by taking simple steps to prepare themselves for the night such as considering if they need pain relief, addressing toileting needs or asking extra pillows to help them have a comfortable sleep.