One of the busiest clinics at Lincoln County Hospital has undergone a major refurbishment as part of an overall £500,000 investment in the outpatients department.
Clinic 11, which can treat up to 180 patients a session with orthopaedic ailments, has seen a range of improvements including improved lighting and signage, as well as upgrades to all clinical rooms with new desks and couches.
The clinic is the first in the department to benefit from the investment, which in large part has been supported through government capital funding.
More than 3,000 outpatient appointments are made a week at the hospital, meaning that it is one of the busiest parts of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Sandra Hayes, Acting Clinical Nurse Manager for the hospital’s outpatients department, said: “When the Care Quality Commission visited, their impression of the clinic were that it was tired, drab and did not look very organised.
“We’ve transformed the clinic and as you can see now it’s light, airy, clean and well structured. Everything that the clinicians and staff need is now to hand and so it’s streamlined the whole department and given patients a better experience.
“We’ve implemented lots of changes for the staff in a short period of time. We’ve looked at the whole process of how a patient is referred to Clinic 11 and have taken about an hour out of the waiting times for certain outpatients.
“The next stage is to roll out the improvements and new clinic standards across the other outpatient levels at the hospital.”
More than 160 nursing staff, doctors and consultants work with administration and support staff to keep the 11 outpatient clinics at Lincoln County Hospital running.
These clinics include orthopaedics, paediatrics, rheumatology, cardiology, podiatry and diabetes, and ear nose and throat.
Roger Thorley, ULHT trust member who uses the clinic, said: “We’ve seen a change in attitude and a change in approach – patients now know where they’re going and are not left in the dark.
“I came here in November with my wife who had broken her wrist and what we saw then was not the most inviting of premises. Now it’s brighter, cleaner, tidier and it has a better feel about it.
“It’s very easy to check-in now with the automated system and the staff have really come on board with the improvements.”
Donna Briggs, a sister in Clinic 11, added: “Having worked in the clinic, we knew that changes were needed and primarily this has been patient-orientated.
“The staff have gone through a lot of change which is not always easy but we can now see the rewards.”