Placemat initiative improves patient communication

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust staff are using A3-size placemats to keep patients informed about hospital services

Ward staff are using a new innovation to improve communication with patients via informative placemats.

The placemat scheme has won an Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff award

The scheme is being piloted across nine wards at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, with the laminated A3-size mats left at each bedside table.

Wipe-clean mats include details on individual wards, mealtimes, pain control, discharge, complaints and even the uniforms of the different staff members.

The scheme has won an Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff award, with the idea being shared with other NHS trusts.

Ward manager Julie Record, who works on an orthopaedic and general surgery ward at the trust, said: ‘Our ward has 24-hour admissions and patients can learn about that through the placemats, it really helps them to know why there might be movement on the ward in the middle of the night.

‘The feedback has been positive. It’s fantastic for patients who can sometimes be overloaded with verbal information on arrival because this is something they can refer back to.’