Seeing clearly at last

An example of how introducing one-page profiles onto a busy hospital ward helped Norman express what was important to him and get the help he needed.

Norman's one-page profile

Norman’s one-page profile

Written by Michelle Livesley

I’ve been working with Spiral Health at their forty-bed rehabilitation Unit, Bispham Hospital helping them to introduce one-page profiles on the ward and it was here that I met Norman.

Norman was not particularly happy when he first came to the ward. He seemed agitated and irritable and desperately wanted to be back in his own home. Hospital is a big upheaval and it is common that people miss their home comforts but it seemed to run deeper than that with Norman. Using the one-page profile template we started to explore what was important to him and how best we could support him during his stay.

Through this exercise we uncovered that the bulk of his unhappiness was related to not being able to see properly to read as his prescription glasses were no longer strong enough. In particular he was finding it hard to read the menu which meant he was frustrated at meal times but had been too proud to say.

Nurse Fran, who I’d been coaching through this process with Norman, made a note on his one-page profile about his eyesight but at first felt unsure about how to help. The unit does not have access to optical services so keen to find another solution – Fran took the information to her Nurse Lead who knew exactly what to try. She had been given a large bag of unwanted spectacles and she and Norman went through them until they found a pair that was just right. Not only did this 20 minute session find Norman a pair of temporary glasses to improve his experience in the short term but it helped him feel understood and valued; a great result.

All patients’ one-page profiles at Bispham are written on a board above their bed, visible to everyone and can be added to as relationships and conversations develop throughout their stay. They provide essential, easy to read information about the person rather than the condition. For Norman, having a one-page profile meant that he got the support he needed to feel happier and more independent during his stay in hospital.

You can read more about Spiral Health’s personalisation journey by following the personalising health blog.