8 October 2015
The team at ward 5 with Trust chief executive Neil Dardis (far left), Michelle Pearsall, ward manager and sister, and Kim Bowles, Macmillan’s development manager for Buckinghamshire (back row, third from right)
A cancer ward at a Buckinghamshire hospital has become the second inpatient ward in England to receive a prestigious care quality award.
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s Stoke Mandeville Hospital received the prestigious Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) for offering high standards of care for people affected by cancer. The award was presented by Kim Bowles, Macmillan’s development manager for Buckinghamshire, to Michelle Pearsall, ward manager and sister.
The MQEM specifically assesses how well buildings such as hospital wards, chemotherapy units and information centres provide support and care to people affected by cancer, and also recognises high standards in building design.
Michelle Pearsall said: 'We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award. We couldn’t have done it without the help of all the staff who work on the ward. It really is a team effort. When you or a loved one is facing cancer, they not only need the right medical support but also the right environment to help them cope with their situation.'
Changes included innovative notice boards in patient rooms to allow people to personalise the space during their stay, putting up photographs, banners or even paintings. They were also encouraged to bring their own sheets and duvets to make the space feel more familiar. Finally, the team also made improvements to an outdoor balcony area, adding a new bench and flowers.
Matron Penny Jackson said: 'The ward is such a friendly, easy-going and happy place, but still very professional. This is all championed by Michelle and her team and makes such a difference to our patients and their well-being.'
Kim Bowles added: 'This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that made the changes to the ward to make it a welcoming and supportive environment for patients and their families.
'To receive the award, environments have to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and well-being. We consider things like the greeting people receive when they arrive, the use of natural light and outdoor space, and the availability of quiet, private rooms – all areas that were highlighted as really important by people living with cancer who helped develop the award.'
Find out more about the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark.