Former patients in Gateshead have been invited back into hospital to take a look around the operating theatres and help the NHS understand how to offer an even better patient experience.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead organised a special open evening where patients and their families could come back into the surgery centre and tell staff a bit more about their experience and where things could be improved.

The group of patients, who had all recently, had an operation in Gateshead, were treated to a special tour of the operating theatres and got the chance to talk to some of the NHS staff who work there. This offered participants a unique chance to see behind-the-scenes of a busy acute hospital and provide some feedback on how services worked for them as an individual.

It also enabled theatre and nursing staff to showcase the state-of-the-art surgery centre at the hospital and explain some of the improvements that have recently been made.

Aileen Rooney, Theatre & Critical Care Matron at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said:

“In Gateshead one of our top priorities is patient experience and listening closely to the views of the people who use our services. We also know that patients and families are very interested in the services we offer and how they work behind the scenes.

“That’s why we decided to invite some patients who had recently had surgery here to come back in with their families to help us understand how things worked for them and what we could do to make the service even better.

“It’s really important for us to collect patient feedback so that we can shape future services and make sure we get it right for everyone. Sometimes it’s really simple things that people can feel very passionate about.  We are trying  to create ‘always events’ for people coming in for surgery. These are identified by asking patients what matters to them, such as staff introducing themselves properly for example. These ‘always events’ should always happen for every patient.