Launched on International Nurses’ Day in May 2022, the #MeetTheMatron is a campaign designed to ensure patients, families and carers can provide timely feedback directly to their matron – whether that’s as a current inpatient, or shortly after their stay…

“Positive patient experience allows us to engage in patient pathways and enable better outcomes,” said Head of Nursing for Surgery, Nicky Metcalfe. “Our matrons want to be the first port of call and are committed to being accessible across their portfolios.”

The idea of the campaign is to direct patients, families and carers direct to the matron in charge of their care if they would like to provide feedback – it could be compliments, constructive feedback or complaints. Traditionally feedback about patient experience may come through other avenues, but the campaign aims to deliver feedback to quickly, and enable the matrons to provide timely responses.

“When the campaign was first thought up, some of the matron group were a little worried about the amount of contacts and of the appropriateness of contacts, but what we have seen come through has been of quality and for reasons our matrons should want to receive feedback. Since May 2022 we have had only 3 contacts that haven’t been appropriate for a matron to respond, but they have been directed to the correct person.”

How are patients benefitting from the campaign?

Some of our ward teams have been able to use the feedback to benefit future patient experience. Nicky, then a matron, was provided with a #MeetTheMatron enquiry from the family of extended stay patient. They had observed patients being discharged from the beds nearest the windows, and used the campaign to raise that their father would have really benefitted from being moved to one of these available beds instead of seeing new patients placed into them straight away. Nicky fed this back to the clinical teams, and it is now part of ward and clinical MDT discussions to ensure longer stay patients are offered the opportunity to move to the window beds as and when they come available.

Katrina Wright was the first ever patient to use the campaign, and her example was a poignant one. She provided three pieces of feedback – a compliment, a complaint, and a constructive observation – and appreciated the ability to talk directly to a matron in a timely way. “I am so pleased my comments were listened to. I think it is so important that we all do that we can to help and improve the patient journey. Sometimes good outcomes can be achieved from giving patients the opportunity to feedback on their experience,” she said. You can watch a short video of Katrina’s thoughts on #MeetTheMatron below:

How #MeetTheMatron could be of help to someone you know

If you feel that talking to a matron face-to-face, over the phone or by email is for you or someone you know, rather than communicating over email or the phone, the campaign will help you to contact the correct matron – head here. General topics people can talk to their matron about are:

  • “I want to give praise or positive feedback for a recent stay” – this could be about an individual, a team, or a general comment about the service you received. We want to hear about this as much as possible. We also have our ‘Say Thank You’ scheme where our staff will receive a thank you card.
  • “I noticed something that would be worth feeding back to the teams on the ward” – this could be when you see something that would have improved a part of your experience or helped you understand what was happening during your stay
  • “I am not happy with something, I need to speak to somebody” – this could relate to a specific experience or something that is directly affecting your care in the hospital. Please tell us.

Things more appropriate to raise with our PALS team, are:

  • “I have a question about my appointment booking/I want to make changes to my appointment/I did not attend (DNA) my appointment”
  • “I want to ask about updates to the waiting list I am on” – this could relate to the need to confirm that you are on a waiting list or understand how long it will take for you to receive treatment. Please refer to the contact details given in your correspondence from the hospital to identify the correct point of contact.
  • “I have questions about my referral to treatment time” – this could relate to a referral performed by your GP or a specialist to another specialist service for treatment. Please contact the team who referred you in this instance.
  • “I have questions about some community services” – some services that operate in the hospital do not belong to UHP such as those associated with Primary Care and Mental Health Services. Please ensure that you contact your GP or our community partners for these.
  • General updates from the medical team – this can be arranged through your consultant’s secretary or, if you are currently admitted to hospital, through the nurse in charge in the Ward you are admitted to.

Why this is important

Our matrons want to continue to be at the forefront of improving the quality and experience of patients and families – learning from what works well and be able to intervene earlier when things aren’t going well to be able to resolve early concerns. Through feedback (positive feedback is so important for the way our teams work and learn, we are not often good at asking for this!), our matrons are at the forefront of quality for ward-based communication.

Since the start of the campaign, there have now been over 50 responses received through to our matrons. Compliments were the top theme received in 2022 and continue to be this year.

The first year and a half of the campaign has been digital – the main method for patients to feedback is through the website, with a huge amount of traffic being directed to the matron website from regular social media activity. The next step is to accompany this with a physical footprint inside the trust.

Leave a Reply