Improving patient experience

The Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre (RDCEC) is the world’s largest specialist centre dedicated to the treatment and research of blinding diseases in children. It combines the clinical experience of Moorfields Eye Hospital with the research base of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology to promote rapid translation of research to better treatments for patients – a truly ‘bench to bedside’ approach. 

The Patron’s Fund has been established to support the charitable organisations across the UK and the Commonwealth for which Her Majesty The Queen acts as a Patron. The Patron’s Lunch, held in June 2017, helped celebrate and acknowledge the work of the many charities for which The Queen acts as a Patron, on the occasion of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. The RDCEC was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2007 and so an award from Her Majesty’s Patron Fund was a wonderful opportunity for the RDCEC to mark this milestone in the building’s history and the historic occasion of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday

The award has enabled the centre to install a public address system. This system allows the staff to inform children and their families about the running of the clinics and give them up to date information about their visit. Staff can give directions and advice on where to find the clinics, access to the toilets, drinking water points and other necessary information about the centre, as well as being able to apologise for and explain any delays that arise.  By providing this additional information, staff have been able to address feedback from patient surveys on the lack of information while children waited for their examinations and consultations.

Mally Scrutton, matron of the RDCEC, said:

On behalf of the clinic staff in the RDCEC I would like to express a big thank you for the public address system which was so generously supported by the Patron’s Fund. This system has transformed our ability to communicate to large numbers of families in the clinics and play areas; before the installation members of staff had to talk to individuals or very small groups which was time consuming and took staff away from their clinical and clerical work. As a result of the system the clinic staff are able to keep waiting families updated and reassured, which enhances their experience in the clinics.

The staff have welcomed this system too; busy children’s clinics are very noisy and in the past it was difficult for parents and children to hear when they were being called to see the doctor and members of their team. Marie Restorie from the ultrasound department made use of the system straight away and is delighted to be able to be heard above the normal cacophony in the waiting area!

Jacqueline Morgan, clinic clerk for Miss Thomas and Mr Larkin, works in exceptionally busy clinics and says that the system has made it so much easier to communicate to the families in the waiting area when there are delays or if the pathway through the clinic needs explaining to large groups of parents. Her ability to communicate has resulted in a calmer atmosphere and a smoother pathway through these complex clinics.