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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I had an e-mail yesterday from one of the world's leading suppliers of high-end quality cases for iPads and Smartphones, offering to send me some for free if I'd be willing to write a review on my blog and link to their website. It's the kind of offer which gives an independent anti-capitalist blogger with high moral standards a bit of an ethical dilemma. But fortunately not me. I'm quite happy to sell out to the highest bidder if it gets me a new case for my iPad.

So I've e-mailed them back and said yes. Their cases cost thirty-five quid, and are used by the CIA, so I can pretend I'm on Homeland without paying a penny. There's clearly no decision to be made.

But if you think I'm only out for myself, you'd be wrong. I was in a far flung cottage hospital this morning, chatting to a lady who was named after a character from King Lear (not the Fool), and she asked me if I'd be willing to take part in the 15 Steps Challenge. At the time, I wasn't sure if it was a 12 Step Programme that includes relapse, or an episode of Strictly Come Dancing, but either way I was happy to help, so I said yes. At which point she handed me an eight-page form and a pen.

It transpires that the 15 Steps Challenge is an NHS initiative designed to improve patients' experience by evaluating their first impressions of a hospital or department. It was developed after the mother of a patient commented that "I can tell what kind of care my daughter is going to get within 15 steps of walking on to a ward". So she clearly hasn't visited any hospital I've ever worked in. If you take fifteen steps through one of our wards, you'll end up at the back of the cleaner's cupboard.

But that aside, I was asked to consider my arrival in outpatients this morning, and fill in a questionnaire about my initial impressions of the hospital, and what could be done to make those first fifteen steps more welcoming and reassuring for the patients. It was difficult to know what to put. So in the end I just pointed out that it's eighteen steps to the chocolate vending machine, and suggested they might want to move it nearer the door.


Phil's Mum said...

I presume they send you the cases first, before you have to write about them, so you can't lose really!

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