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New Facilities Matron improves experience for patients

Yvonne Spencer

Together with Sodexo we have appointed a Facilities Matron to help reinforce high standards of cleanliness, patient dining and overall care.

Yvonne Spencer, previously a ward manager at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, has joined Sodexo from the Trust on a 12-month secondment. The company runs a range of services for the Trust, including cleaning, portering and patient dining, together with site maintenance, security and facilities management.

Acting on feedback about food and ensuring wards achieve the highest cleanliness standards are two key areas which Yvonne is focusing on.

"Patients regularly tell us their key priorities are clean surroundings, good food which arrives on time and clear communication regarding their care," explained Yvonne.  "My role is to be the link between clinical teams on the wards and Sodexo service teams, to make sure we deliver all these things."

Yvonne is using her 12 years of nursing experience to help improve the experience of patients across the Trust's central Manchester hospitals. A current focus within her role is a Trust-wide Patient Dining Improvement project, in conjunction with the Trust's Patient Experience team, to improve patient satisfaction within this area. This will involve the co-ordination of patient dining clubs, menu reviews with hospital dietitians and patient representatives, and sharing of best practice across all clinical areas at the Trust. A project is also underway to develop an electronic meal ordering system via patients' bedside TV screens. This will cut out paperwork and free up nursing staff to spend more time with patients.

Yvonne also meets every week with domestic services staff and clinical staff to ensure cleaning standards are met, and supports the work of the Trust's infection control team.

"Every day is different, and I'm enjoying the opportunity to work with colleagues throughout the Trust," added Yvonne. "I understand the challenges facing ward staff, and also the practical demands of providing 4,000 patient meals and cleaning 350,000 square metres every day. By sharing good practice and improving standards, I'm keen to promote strong partnership working that benefits patients by providing high quality care to the one million plus patients treated here every year."

Phil Jones, Sodexo Healthcare service director at the Trust, said:  "Yvonne is the ideal person to develop this new role, and we are confident her work will make a real difference to both patients and colleagues. She is a friendly and helpful presence on the wards, listening to both compliments and complaints and making sure we respond effectively."

Cheryl Lenney, Director of Nursing at the Trust, is delighted to support the role of facilities matron and commented: "Yvonne's role is an absolutely crucial interface for the Sodexo/Trust partnership and she is already making a difference not only to patients and families but also to developing a stronger team culture in the wards. She complements the role of the infection control team and the ward managers and is an additional support for the hotel services assistants on the wards. Yvonne's personality and values have made her the right person to work with both our organisations and enable us all to see things through fresh eyes and most importantly those of the patient."