Learning from listening

North East Ambulance Service is building a culture of openness and transparency by ensuring that all feedback is a learning opportunity to help us continually improve our services.

With this in mind, board members now receive a staff or patient story at each board meeting.

As well as a summary of the complaint or compliment, members are told what learning was identified and more importantly the actions taken as a result.

Although usually detailing patient stories, we welcome feedback from our staff.

One recent compliment included a thank you for a Rapid Response Paramedic, who attended a child at school with profound special needs and complex medical needs.

The paramedic involved was praised for his care and reassurance, understanding and empathy for the patient.

The thank you letter came from a teacher at the school, who said: “It is never a nice or easy situation when you find yourself having to ring 999 but having [him] attend to us made the experience a lot more positive for everyone concerned.”

The paramedic involved received a copy of the letter.

A recent complaint included delays to collecting a patient, which was found to have been caused by a Dispatch Officer missing an opportunity to assign an ambulance sooner. This complaint resulted in the officer receiving feedback and additional coaching.

Joanne Baxter, Director of Clinical Care and Patient Safety, said: “It is important that the trust ‘learns from listening’ to our patients, their relatives and carers and our staff.

“We aim to develop a continuous improvement cycle to ensure we constantly improve on the services and care we provide.

“It is also important that staff receive feedback on appreciations and compliments and that these are also shared widely across the trust as a learning opportunity in addition to incidents and complaints.”

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