Our patients have their say

Capturing the views and wishes of our patients as we plan our new hospital is critical to us getting it right for everyone.

One of the ways we are doing this is through regular engagement events with patient groups in East and North Herts and West Essex, organised in partnership with our two local CCGs.

Early this year we held two events with patients in both areas, and in lively and positive discussions we were able to update them on the new hospital programme and capture their thoughts and ideas.

Our patients are excited about our plans and optimistic about how the new hospital will improve their experience.

Here are some of the common questions that come up at our meetings:

Patients asked: How is transport to and from the site going to meet patient needs, encouraging patients leave their cars at home when possible?
We answered: We are drawing on best practice around the world and talking to other hospitals and transport advisers. We are working with Essex County Council and our local authorities to get transport services right and deliver a sustainable transport strategy for us all. This is still in the early stages and we are currently mapping where people will be coming from and how they will travel.

Patients asked: How are the needs of carers being considered in the design of facilities, such as having somewhere comfortable to sleep?
We answered: Having a majority of single rooms will ensure family members will be cared for, with space for the patient and one family member to stay. There will also be more single rooms in paediatrics, to allow more parents to stay with their children.

Patients asked: How are people with dementia and Alzheimer’s being considered in the hospital plans?
We answered: Specialist members of staff, patients, the hospital’s Patient Panel and Carers Forum have been engaged in the design planning and continue to be involved in our plans, ensuring the specific needs of dementia patients are prioritised.

Patients asked: How are current hospital staff being involved in the design?
We answered: Over the past 12 months over 300 of our people have given feedback on the hospital designs. Our design process has been led by a team of clinicians who’ve spent over 100 hours fine-tuning the layout of each of their departments.

Patients asked: We like the idea of a community space with a focus on wellbeing rather than illness, but how do you marry up the building as a community space with the reality that some people will be at a very low point in their lives?
We answered: We have designed this new hospital very carefully. The maternity unit, for example, can be the place for the happiest or saddest time in your life. In our new hospital you can leave the maternity unit through a quiet exit away from the central arrival space. We’re creating quiet spaces away from the hubbub of the main hospital for patients, families and carers. And separate quiet spaces for staff too. Our greenfield location means we can create outdoor spaces to decompress, contemplate and recover.

Patients asked: The plans are very exciting. During the build there is a need to look after patients that are going through PAH. What happens to PAH during this period? Surely we must keep investing in maintaining the current hospital?
We answered: We have to keep the current hospital going and continue to invest to keep it working for our staff and our patients for as long as we need it to. A smooth transition for patients and staff is hugely important. We are carefully planning our transition to make sure there is minimal disruption to patients.

Help us reach further!

We are committed to engaging as many people as we can, so that our entire community can have their say in their new hospital.

Are you a member of a local community group or network outside of work? Could we run an engagement session with your group? Share news and updates, join your virtual meetings, or come along to speak at one of your local events?

We welcome any opportunity to share our progress and hear what our community have to say. Please get in touch with details if this sounds like you!

You are always welcome to share your views and ideas with us anytime via paht.newhospital@nhs.net

Jill Hogan
Communications and engagement
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