Marlborough House Adolescent Unit in Swindon has been running a pilot project since September 2011 to introduce uniforms for all staff – and the initial feedback is very positive indeed.
The initiative, which has seen a range of uniforms introduced to reflect the various roles at the unit (previously no staff wore uniforms at all) is part of the Leading Improvement in Patient Safety (LIPS) programme. Wide-ranging consultation has taken place with young people, their families, staff and visitors with regards to styles and colours of uniforms, along with other practical concerns. Infection control issues were also high on the agenda, as it was discussed which uniforms were most suitable for Marlborough House.
To date, the majority of comments made have been extremely positive from all stakeholders; most notably, regarding the very obvious impact upon the perception and experience of safety, professionalism and identity.
Very good idea to put nurses back in uniform, they all look smart and much more professional now, in fact some of the staff I thought were nurses to my surprise are not (Carer, telephone feedback)
Safer for my child, as early it is important to know who is who on an Inpatient Unit (Family face-to-face feedback)
I really like the change, it means far more consistency. It reminds me that the staff who care for me are skilled and that this is a hospital, which can sometimes be forgotten (Young person)
Young people have responded well to this project, I think there has been less incidence of verbal abuse towards staff, and actually, I have witnessed better behaved children and young people with staff in uniform (Staff member)
I like the professional corporate look, and I cannot wait to get mine as I envy those in the trial (Staff member)
I think uniform is a great idea, and I find myself walking tall with pride and job satisfaction when I put on my uniform in the mornings even though I am not a qualified nurse, I am proud to work at Marlborough House, but don’t like the ironing bit (Staff member)
I quite like the nurses in uniform, it makes me feel safe and in capable hands, it is also less intimidating and much more reassuring, I think it is a good change (Young person)
Uniforms would protect my dignity and modesty especially if involved in a C+R incident, I was involved in a major violent incident last summer and had my blouse ripped off me. That would not have happened if I had a nurse’s tunic on as they are made of very tough material and in fact have a zip as well as popper studs (Staff member)
The consultation is still continuing and the pilot will be formally evaluated in six months’ time. Other clinical areas have expressed an interest and have planned visits to the unit to discuss the project.
For further information, please contact Amanda Cadder, Matron, on 07881827013 or Jill Addis, Nurse Consultant and LIPS Lead on 07770 641189.
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