Gorleston hospital wants to hear views of patients

The under-fire James Paget University Hospital is inviting patients to share their experiences at a series of meetings to help shape the future standards of care that all trust staff will be expected to meet.

Called In Your Shoes, the meetings will be held at the Gorleston hospital next month as part of an initiative that aims to improve the quality of patient care.

Patients will have the opportunity to meet nurses, doctors, managers and other health care staff and tell them about their real life experiences face to face.

Kirk Lower, director of human resources and lead for the project, is urging people to come forward and speak openly about their experiences.

Mr Lower said: 'We are really keen to listen to the experience and views of patients in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and surrounding areas, whether they feel there is room for improvement or have had a positive experience.

'This is a genuine opportunity to influence the future of the care we provide.'

'We sincerely hope people would like to be part of these sessions. We need their help as we can only improve and offer services when, where and how the people we serve want by listening and learning - the In Your Shoes meetings offer us this opportunity.'

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Next month's In Your Shoes meetings follows several months of controversy at the hospital.

In November, trust chairman John Hemming resigned following criticism after two failed inspections by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The hospital, which serves east Suffolk and Norfolk, was criticised by the CQC for unacceptable standards in nutrition, feeding and meal times. For next month's sessions the hospital trust wants to listen to a wide range of patients, including those who have used the hospital for an outpatient appointment, emergency, surgery or as an inpatient for any reason in the last 12 months.

Each session will last about two hours and will each involve 20 patients and 20 staff discussing experiences individually and in groups.

Travel costs, including parking, will be paid and refreshments provided.

The workshops are due to take place on Tuesday, January 17 from 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm, Wednesday, January 18 from 9.30am to noon, Thursday, January 19 from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm and Friday, January 20 from 9.30 am to noon.

To get involved in the In Your Shoes meetings or for more information, patients should call 01493 453240 or e-mail inyourshoes@jpaget.nhs.uk by 13th January 2012.

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