Plenty to be proud of week – day 3


The Trust switchboard team handles tens of thousands calls each month, from both patients and members of staff, covering all four Trusts sites (Lister, New QEII, Hertford County and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre). The team has improved significantly over the last year, providing a more efficient and responsive service.

The team is available 24/7, and both patients and staff can expect a response from a fully trained operator who helps coordinate all calls and enquiries coming through to our hospitals.

Switchboard can expect up to 70,000 calls per month – with 300 of those emergencies, such as cardiac arrests. The main reception team at Lister handles on average 6000 patient enquiry calls every month.

Despite the incredible volume of calls, response times have improved by 18% since 2015 and they’re currently achieving their expected response time targets for this year.


Compassionate end of life care

The Butterfly volunteer team is a group of 17 specially trained volunteers who visit patients nearing the end of their life. Led by Eunice Sirkett and Jemma Finch from the Trust’s specialist palliative care team, and overseen by Liz Pryor, the team has been supporting patients in this way since the beginning of May 2016.

The Butterfly volunteers spend time with patients who have few or no visitors, and are there for families too – providing them with practical and emotional support, and much needed respite from sitting by the bedside. The team is willing to run errands, fetch members of the nursing staff when needed, make cups of tea or just sit and chat. Holding a patient’s hand or quietly talking to them so they know they are not alone can make a huge difference and helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Since this project was launched, more than 400 patients have benefitted from the service, with Butterfly volunteers providing just over 200 hours of one-to-one visits. In total, 16 wards have been visited and over 50 families have received support. Referrals have come from across the Trust via the specialist palliative care team, nurses, doctors and chaplains.

The feedback that has been received has been overwhelmingly positive, with patients and families telling us that they really appreciate the company, support and compassion provided by the Butterfly volunteers. We have received written thank you cards to the team, and ward staff have told us that they feel reassured when a Butterfly volunteer is able to sit with their patient.

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