Salisbury Foundation Trust

Director of Integrated Governance Fiona McNeight Goes Back to the Floor

Each of our seven Directors is spending time shadowing staff in services across the hospital as part of their ‘Executive back to the floor’ sessions. They're also blogging about their visits. This blog is from Director of Fiona McNeight, Director of Integrated Governance, who visited colleagues in Durrington Ward.  

As I entered Durrington I was warmly greeted by David the Ward Manager who left me in the capable hands of the Ward Clerk Megan whilst he attended a meeting. I was given an overview of the ward which is an escalation ward with admissions from ED and AMU. The patient case mix is made up of AMU patients and Acute Frailty (medical patients). There are 21 beds plus 2 escalation beds in use. The ward usually sees a high turnover of patients; however, there were several patients on the ward who were medically fit for discharge and who were waiting for packages of care or assessment beds in the community.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny and Heather who are senior physiotherapists, and it was clear from watching their interactions with the nursing and medical staff that they are an integral and respected part of the team. It was evident that there is strong team working on the ward and good relationships between staff.

I met Debbie from the discharge team. Her role is Home from Hospital Co-Ordinator. Debbie’s passion for her job really struck me and I was fascinated by her involvement with both patients and families/carers to support a safe discharge. Debbie has other elements to her role as she is also a Dementia, Carer and Veteran Champion. I really was inspired by her commitment to improving the patient experience. Her examples of her day-to-day activities really brought ‘going above and beyond’ to life.

Unfortunately, there was only one Healthcare Assistant on duty, also called Megan who took me under her wing to do the tea round. Her enthusiasm and cheerfulness was inspiring. Interacting with the patients took me back to my nursing days. I loved it! Meg really put the patient first and her commitment was amazing.

The staffing challenges were evident, and David explained the impact this can have on the quality of care provision. I could clearly see how this could happen and why this was distressing to staff. The staff were so busy, and it really struck me how relentless it must be and the need to focus on the health and wellbeing of our staff.

What did I take away from my visit overall? The team working was so strong and the working relationships on the ward were fantastic. I witnessed excellent holistic multi-disciplinary team working in action. The overseas nurses were an integral and valued part of the workforce and very much welcomed. The staff were so friendly and clearly showed dedication and passion for their work. The reality of the staffing challenges was very real and something that really hit home with me. The temporary nature of the ward presented recruitment challenges and it was clear from the staff that making the ward permanent would give them a sense of identity and belonging.

Thank you Team Durrington!

31 January 2022

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
T: 01722 336262 E: sft.pals@nhs.net
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