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Hospital to act on noisy wards

Wigan Infirmary

Wigan Infirmary

WIGAN hospital chiefs say they have introduced a pilot scheme aimed at tackling the issue of noisy wards amid criticisms from nursing leaders.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) say a combination of thoughtlessness and badly run wards were keeping patients awake.

And they called for an end to patients being moved at night, insisting the practice caused unnecessary disturbances.

Now bosses at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) say they have already piloted a scheme in wards at Wrightington Hospital and are already rolling it out at Wigan and Leigh infirmaries. Pauline Law, WWL’s deputy director of nursing, said: “The trust can confirm that as a result of some patient comments about the noise on our wards during the night, a Quality Champion Project has specifically looked at this issue on our Wrightington site.

“The project has included simple but effective measures being introduced such as ensuring that staff choose the correct soft soled shoes, changing the lids on the bins and even supplying ear plugs to those who request them.

“This project is being rolled out across other ward areas within Wrightington and Wigan Infirmary.”

Nurses attending the Royal College of Nursing conference this week said that hospitals need to do more to ensure that patient’s get a decent night’s sleep, as badly run wards and general thoughtlessness were keeping people awake.

Their main comment was that patients need to stop being moved or discharged overnight, as this is very disruptive for all patients, interrupting vital restful sleep.

Other factors mentioned were alarms going off, conversations between staff, telephones and even squeaky shoes.

Simple measures such as putting alarms and bleepers on vibrate and turning down ringing tones on phones could make a huge improvement, suggested the delegates at the Liverpool based conference.

At the conference the The RCN also recommended that all A&E departments need to use workforce planning tools to ensure safe staffing levels. It also wants more A&E staff to have specialist post-graduate emergency nursing qualifications.

Linsey Sheerin, emergency nurse and lead for the RCN Emergency Care Network, said: “There are departments who are constantly firefighting.”

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