Improvement plans and updates

Our plans set out the actions we need to take to further improve our services, performance and finances, as well as reducing our reliance on agency staff.

Read our plans here

We also update the Board at each public meeting.

  • Delivering our Potential was our Improvement Plan from August 2015 to September 2016
  • Unlocking our Potential was our Improvement Plan from June 2014 to July 2015

These plans set out what we needed to do to sets out the actions we need to take to further improve our services, performance and finances, as well as reducing our reliance on agency staff.

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Stroke: a patient's perspective

I collapsed in my front room and was found by my brother who brought me in to the Emergency Department at Queen’s Hospital. The first thing I remember was a doctor slapping my face trying to rouse me – I think he was trying to find out if my face was alive! I was told I had had a stroke.

I was soon moved to the Sahara ward but having never had a stay in hospital before, I found the experience to be a big shock. Unable to move properly, my senses not functioning properly, I struggled to remember who I had seen. I wasn’t able to mobilise and needed assistance going to the toilet. I wet the bed which completely freaked me out but I found the staff’s reassurance and understanding very comforting.

They always explained what was happening and they would constantly soothe me by saying things like “don’t be afraid” or “it’s okay”. Whilst I couldn’t talk, I could listen. There was a nurse called Maria who was worried about me - she showed me compassion and kindness. That personable and patient-centred care meant that I felt more relaxed. Maria thought I was having trouble breathing and it appeared that I had a chest infection as well - I was gasping for air. Maria took the initiative and went to get the doctor, who immediately moved me to the Intensive Care Unit where I consequently spent two months.

Whilst in ICU a male nurse would talk to me about nonsensical things but I later realised that talking would help me to focus. I felt the staff fully engaged with me and I felt completely cared for - they spent a lot of time telling me who they were and what they were going to do to help me. I found this very comforting, knowing who they were and having them talk to me. They were wonderful. I made a good recovery and was moved back to Sahara ward.

I don’t think there was anything the hospital could have done better. I have never been in a situation where I have been seriously ill. All I can say is that staff should engage with patients - cleaners, porters, doctors, nurses, it doesn’t matter. As a patient we are there all the time, so having someone talk to you and engage with you means so much. People telling me who they were, giving me a pat on the head – it breaks down communication barriers and allows us to joke about things that would otherwise be embarrassing.

Since sharing my experience at a BHRUT staff induction - which I found a very uplifting event - I have been asked by UK Health Radio to present a weekly one hour show about Stroke and Stroke recovery.

I am immensely grateful to BHRUT for its professional and caring staff and I am now an advocate for the Trust. I am quite sure if it wasn’t for Queen’s, I wouldn’t be here today. The speed at which I was brought here and the staff on Sahara ward recognised that I didn’t just have a stroke but I had another problem too, which meant I deteriorated very quickly. The action people took saved my life. The medicine helped but George, Sharon and Maria saved my life.

Stewart Pearce