A warm welcome and a good experience say patients at community hospitals in North Kent

People staying in our Community Hospitals in Dartford, Gravesham, Swanley and Swale – which Virgin Care manages on behalf of the local NHS – are seeing improvements made to their welcome and overall stay.

On arrival, all patients now receive a ‘welcome pack’ full of essential care and grooming items that patients might need in the early stages of their stay.

Soap, a hairbrush, tissues and a toothbrush and toothpaste are all included in the pack, alongside a puzzle pack to help keep patients mentally active and a clever 3-in-1 magnifying glass, bookmark and ruler.

VC_Sheerness_170517_032The packs, inspired by Virgin Atlantic’s on-board welcome, are cleverly designed to use up as little space as possible, with all of the items contained in a reusable waterproof pouch and coming with a larger tote bag, which patients can use to take washing and other personal items with them when they leave hospital.

Patients across all four wards which the organisation runs in North Kent receive the packs while a recent survey revealed patients are happy with food, meals and their general experience of their stay.

96% of respondents rated their overall satisfaction with their welcome upon arrival to the ward either excellent or good, in the survey. The packs also scored well with the majority (86%) saying they were either excellent or good.

The food and meals scored highly among inpatients too. The survey saw more than a third (34%) score meals excellent and nearly half (49%) good.

One patient on Harty Ward at Sheppey Community Hospital said it’s the “best hospital food [I’ve] ever had” and another added from their stay on Kestral Ward at Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital that food is “filling, feels like it’s freshly cooked and there is always a choice”.

While a patient staying at Livingstone Hospital said: “Everything is pleasing, if I had to go into hospital again I would want to come here.”

Jon Ruddock, Head of Operations for Virgin Care in North Kent said: “An unexpected trip to hospital can be very unsettling, and leave little time for preparation so we’ll do everything we can to make the welcome and the first few days with us as simple and easy as possible.

“The packs provide some individual essential items which may serve to lessen the anxiety patients may experience at this difficult time. Both patients and colleagues have said how useful they are.

“I’m very pleased that patients have told us just how much they value our warm welcome and that other important elements of their stay – such as food – are being rated highly too.”

Virgin Care runs Adult Community Services in Dartford, Gravesham, Swanley and Swale areas, providing a wide range of services including community nursing and occupational therapy including inpatient wards at Livingstone Hospital, Gravesham Community Hospital, Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital and Sheppey Community Hospital, where the survey was undertaken.

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