Trees of life have special messages for hospital staff

Patient Rosa Duvas leaves a message on dignity tree with assistant practioner Lynda Smith.
Patient Rosa Duvas leaves a message on dignity tree with assistant practioner Lynda Smith.
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Bare branches on two young trees were bursting with paper leaves holding patients’ views on dignity within hours of being placed in a Spalding hospital.

The trees at Johnson Community Hospital were put in the foyer to celebrate national Dignity in Care day.

A coffee morning was held at Holbeach Hospital and other activities also took place at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.

Among the messages on the trees in Spalding hospital were:

l Never had stress from the NHS.

l I do not speak good English but this has not been a barrier when receiving care here.

l Dignity is to be treated with care and integrity and in 60 years of illness I have never been treated with less.

There were also thoughts on what patients thought being treated with dignity was.

l Patience and time

l Listen to what they say.

Assistant practitioner Linda Smith came up with the idea of the trees, which were donated for the day by Birchgrove Garden Centre in Pinchbeck.

She said: “The theme of the hospital is nature, with coastal, farmland, woodland, Welland and sky representing the different services we have.

“Dignity in Care day has become an annual event and it is a great opportunity for us to build better relationships between staff and patients and let them know that we do care - and we appreciate it when they come back to us and tell us that we did something right.”

Simon F Temple, head of clinical services, was delighted the public had taken time to share thoughts on the dignity tree.

He said: “All of our staff are trained to treat patients with dignity and the feedback helps us achieve their expectations, so what the public wants is what they get.

“If a patient feels they have not been treated with dignity we want to know.”

At the coffee morning at Holbeach Hospital, there was an exhibition of memorabilia and a stall and raffle run by the League of Friends raised £200 for equipment. Staff were also given questionnaires about dignity in care.

Manager Loraine Wigston said: “The day was a great success, especially as we were visited by students of the University Academy.

“It brought young and old together in a way that highlighted dignity – the students were really interested.

“The questionnaires were a way of highlighting what we do to provide dignity every day.”

A dignity board in the form of a tree was also available at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital for staff and patients to leave messages on the leaves.