As part of our Enter and View programme in 2018/19, we visited the Milton Keynes Urgent Care Centre to engage with patients and hear about their experience of using the Urgent Care Service. We have been getting in touch with providers we have visited to find out what has changed since our report, and whether our recommendations have been put into action.
It has now been a year since our visit to the Urgent Care Centre. Following our recommendations, we were delighted to hear that the Urgent Care Centre have since made efforts to action all our recommendations, which they included in their major refurbishment plans. Whilst many of the recommendations are already in action, MKUCS expect the final phase of their refurbishment plans to be complete in the Summer and have invited us back to the service when these are complete to see how patient experience has improved. We were pleased to hear that, since our visit:
- An electronic board has been placed within the waiting area to provide real time updates to service users.
- MKUCS will be investing to upgrade its waiting area to include a standalone closed off space for young patients; including toys, books and a TV with dedicated children’s programs. Phase 2 will see the floor replaced with a child friendly scheme as well as the breastfeeding area being moved next to the children’s waiting space.
We said: “Ensure patients are aware they are being triaged by qualified Healthcare Assistants. Encourage staff to clarify this at the outset and consider placing explanatory signage in the entrance lobby and reception area.”
They did: Since the visit, the Urgent Care Centre has placed signs in Reception and wording will be placed onto their website. Further work has been completed to educate the services users about Healthcare Assistants working on Reception. They have communicated further and will continue to do so over the coming months.
We said: “Consider placing floor markings in front of the desk, to ensure those waiting in the queue leave an appropriate amount of space for those being triaged.”
They did: Milton Keynes Urgent Care Centre has put in a barrier to make it easy for patients to identify which areas to queue in. MKUCS will be investing to upgrade its waiting area during February 2020; this will include floor markings.
We said: “Ensure all patients are made aware of the patient call system and consider installing more digital signage so that screens are easily visible from all angles of the waiting area.”
They did: All Staff have been asked to ensure that they communicate with patients in regards to the way in which we call a patient through to a consultation room. MKUCS has assured us that the patient notice board is pointed out by staff, and that staff are also being encouraged to come to the waiting room to collect service users.
We said: “Seek ways to increase communication with patients by providing regular updates on waiting times and informing them who they will be seen by.”
They did: The notices on Reception have now been replaced with an electronic board within the waiting area; this gives real time updates to our service users.
We said: “Consider introducing a dedicated children’s waiting area, equipped with ample toys and entertainment, such as demonstrated by the Paediatric A&E department in Milton Keynes.”
They did: As part of a two-phase investment plan, MKUCS implemented a standalone closed off space for its young patients; this includes toys, books and a TV with dedicated children’s programs. Phase 2 will see the floor replaced with a child friendly scheme as well as the breastfeeding area being moved from its current location to that next to the children’s waiting space.
We said: “Consistently monitor the waiting area to ensure high standards of cleanliness are maintained and consider routine checks.”
They did: MKUCS meets regularly with the cleaning contractor to try and improve the environment. With the works within the reception area MKUCS hope that the installation of wipe clean walls using IPC approved coverings will help keep the space looking cleaner.
We said: “Monitor the provision of infant feeding and changing facilities and make improvements where necessary.”
They did: As per the response above, Phase 2 works will see the breast feeding area moved and redesigned within the children’s waiting area. MKUCS have also installed two more baby changing tables in the public toilets.
We said: “Consider making free WiFi available and monitor the provision of the television to ensure this is utilised fully.”
They did: MKUCS switched phone providers in November 2019, which included a new WIFI function within the waiting area. It is hoped that this will improve the reception for service users.