HUGs for a special team

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VERY good.

That’s the verdict on services at the University Hospital of Hartlepool by a group that gives HUGs.

Every month members of the Healthcare User Group hold visits to services across North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

This month, two members of the group visited two specialist areas at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Ray Stephenson and Peter Wilkinson spent a morning in the hospital’s radiology department, and then the new Holdforth unit where they toured services and observed lunch being served to patients.

The new unit is a rehabilitation ward that provides patients with an environment closer to home. It helps them recover and prepare them to return home.

Ray said: “We had a very productive morning, looking around at how services are run and speaking to patients and to staff.

“In radiology, we both talked to several patients. They all gave positive feedback about their experience at the hospital.

“We then visited the new Holdforth unit which is a ward that helps patients who are recovering from a period of hospital care.”

He said the ward was organised. “Staff seemed happy working there and patients who we spoke to were pleased with the level of care they were receiving.

“Feedback from patients about the food they had been served was also positive,” said Ray.

“There was a range of options for patients to choose from and people seemed happy with the time food was served in and the help they received from staff.

“During the visit I sampled some of the food myself and it was a very good standard.”

On the same day other HUG members visited the University Hospital of North Tees - visiting radiology, the children’s ward, short stay unit and elderly care.

Assistant director of nursing, quality, patient and public experience Barbara Carr said: “The healthcare user group plays a very important role in ensuring our services are properly scrutinised.

“The volunteers who visit our services play a vital role in making sure standards of care are high and that any areas of concern are raised with us.

“I am pleased the feedback has been positive.

“The Holdforth unit is a new ward recently opened as part of the trust’s transformation of services. We are particularly interested at this early stage to receive feedback about the experiences of patients and staff there.

Any issues raised on any of the HUG visits are dealt with and used to help improve the service further.”