Main telephone number:
020 8401 3000

What have we done to improve patient care?

This is the question being asked at Croydon Health Services. We’re working hard to improve the patient experience at Croydon Health Services.  Everyone has a role to play in demonstrating the 6Cs to our patients, our visitors and colleagues.  The 6Cs are Care, Compassion, Courage, Competency, Communication and Commitment.  Here are some of our staff telling us what they’ve done today to improve the patient experience.

Jackie Grannell

PALS and Complaints Manager

Jacqui Grannell, PALS and Complaints Manager says: “I recently dealt with a gentleman who had tweeted about his experience.  He had psoriasis very badly and had been unable to attend an appointment for sunlight treatment.  He was then told he had to go back to the consultant and get another referral for the same treatment.  I contacted him via Twitter and gave him my personal email address and told him to get in touch.  It took a while but by working with the department, I managed to arrange for him to have his sunlight treatment pretty quickly.  So what could have turned into a very public criticism of us was avoided and the patient was happy with the outcome.

I encourage all Trust staff to see PALS as the last resort and to try and resolve issues and concerns within departments.  All it takes is someone to pick up the phone and talk to someone directly and see what can be done to resolve the problem.  I really see all staff as PALS officers, we all have a role to play in making sure our patients and their relatives and carers receive the best service."

Led by Jacqui and her team, we have completely redesigned the way complaints and our PALS service works.

From now on, any complainant will be dealt with by one person at the Trust.  Every member of the complaints team will be responsible for seeing a case through, from their first correspondence with the Trust, right through to our response and resolution.  The same caseworker will be responsible for dealing with any follow-up enquiries from the complainant or external regulators, so that our patients and their families are not passed from pillar to post.


Patricia Bonham


Patricia Bonham, has volunteered at the Trust for 12 years. As well as helping at our main reception and being a patient representative in our Health Information Group, she is one of our Patient Buddy Scheme helpers.

Our Patient Buddy Scheme started in 2011. It works by a ‘patient buddy’, one of our hospital volunteers, helping a patient attend their hospital appointment.
The service is available for any patients who; are elderly or anxious, may have a learning or physical disability, hearing or visual impairment or a mental health issue. A buddy can be booked 10 days in advance via Carol O’Reilly our Volunteer Services Manager.

When talking about the Buddy Scheme in particular, Patricia said: “It is very rewarding. People really do appreciate your help.

“With the scheme, you tend to build a nice rapport with the patient. This is especially the case when you help the same patient regularly. We greet the patients at a designated meeting point. We then escort and help them before and after their appointment. Carers are sometimes present also.

“For patient privacy and dignity, we do not attend their actual consultation with them.

In the past, I have looked after a patient’s husband who had dementia while she had her appointment. Each buddy situation is different. It is a great scheme, it really does make a difference and I am proud to be part of it.”

A patient’s view:

Mrs Veronica Sadler from South Croydon who is registered blind said:

“I am very pleased with the Buddy Scheme. Someone told me about it shortly after it started. Before this system was introduced, it was a nightmare for me to attend the hospital.

“My usual buddies are two ladies called Patricia and another lady called Eileen, who are all lovely. They escort me to my clinic and wait with me until it is my turn. It is an excellent scheme.”

Showing the 6Cs of Care, Compassion, Courage, Competency, Communication and Commitment when dealing with our patients, visitors and each other is the responsibility of us all. A patient can book a buddy by phoning Carol O’Reilly on 020 8401 3436.

Dimil Patel

Pharmacist, Critical Care Unit

“A while back I got concerned with one of my patients who kept on being re-admitted. I couldn’t understand why. After speaking with him it turned out he skipped his medication regularly. I re-assessed his lifestyle and living conditions so I set up his discharge medicine in order to reflect this. I set up a reminder on his phone. I recently spoke with his mum who mentioned he was now doing much better.”


Karen Turner
Clerical Officer
Purley War Memorial Hospital

“Recently a lady came in for an appointment to find that it had been rescheduled. She was understandably quite upset. I personally spoke to the rheumatology consultant she was due to see, to find out whether she could find some time to see this lady. Luckily she was able to. The patient was obviously very pleased with this outcome.

“On another recent occasion, a young distressed lady came in for some help. We were unable to help her here at the hospital, but I looked into where she could go for some help. I gave her the correct information she needed and I really felt that I had made a difference to her experience.”


Steve Miles
Emergency Department

“When I’m dealing with a patient, I try to put them at their ease and make them feel safe. I also try and get their family involved. I find if their family are relaxed and comfortable, it helps the patient feeling relaxed and comfortable. I do find it challenging at times, a few weeks ago we had two patients that needed intubating at the same time and it was difficult.”

The use of paramedics in resus brings together the paramedics’ advanced patient assessment clinical skills and expertise from the pre-hospital environment with the consistent high quality patient care provided by the ED nursing team. The team is now meeting local and national targets and there has been a reduction in clinical incidents.

Cecile Brown
Community Midwife
Maternity Home Birth Crocus Team

Cecile says: “I met Michelle at one of our Early Pregnancy evenings at the Trust. She was not comfortable with the idea of giving birth in a hospital so I offered to see her at home to tell her more about what we do. Women are able to give birth at home with our help if there are no medical or obstetric risks to do so.

“The Maternity Home Birth Crocus Team aim to empower women to feel excited about home birthing and when we achieve this, it's really nice to see. Couples seem very happy with the service we provide and their experience.”

New mum Michelle Kumah

“I really thought it was great giving birth at home. Initially I was asked if I wanted to have a home birth and I thought no way. It was by chance that I met Cecile at the hospital and it was through talking to her and discussing the positives that I felt encouraged to give it a try.

“My birth went very well at home, it was very relaxed and the midwives were and have been great. After I gave birth, they stayed behind to help tidy up as well, which was unexpected.

“I understand that it may not be a choice for everybody, but people should definitely consider having a home birth. To be in the comfort of my own home, with my family around me was lovely.”


Dr Ashok Iyer

“A patient came into A&E recently with breathing abnormalities and was referred on to AMU. I wanted to have a chat with him to find out his past medical history first hand and make sure he understood exactly why he was here and answer any questions that he might have. For me this approach was routine practice. My patient on the other hand was surprised yet delighted by this approach as it differed from his past experiences at the Trust. After listening to him carefully it reminded me how time is a precious commodity.”


Constance Gaan
Staff Nurse
Purley 3

“I helped a patient recently who was booked to have a colonoscopy procedure. The patient was quite unsettled and anxious, mainly because of the gown and underwear she had been given to wear during the procedure. She felt very vulnerable.

“I started off by lowering myself to the patient’s eye level and introduced myself saying; “Hello, my name is Constance”. When I discovered what was upsetting her, I immediately helped her to feel securely covered up. She very quickly felt less anxious and scared and was able to go for the procedure feeling reassured and comfortable. Even though a nurse escort is not necessary, I went downstairs with her so that she had a friendly face to go with.”


Hilary Frayne
Head of Nursing for Patient Experience

“We want patients to experience the highest standard of care whilst at the Trust. Constance clearly demonstrated her natural instinct for care and compassion today. Maintaining a patient’s dignity is such a simple thing to do but if not prioritised, can change the patient’s experience in an instance. Well done to Constance for her perceptive and quick response.

“When staff demonstrate the 6Cs patients really feel that they are being cared for in the best way possible. It is always important to listen to patients’ feedback so that teams can work together to make improvements.”

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