A £50,000 grant from NHS Charities Together has helped us fund an Activity Coordinator to improve the patient experience for adults at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

Some patients can have multiple and lengthy stays in our hospitals. With visitor restrictions in place, many were feeling increased loneliness, which impacted their well-being. Thanks to this generous grant, we were able to work with the Public and Patient Engagement team to fund a brand new patient Activity Coordinator role to help tackle this issue.

With a background in community based arts and a Masters in Applied Theatre, with a focus on arts and healthcare, Molly started in this role in November and has been well placed to make a difference to our patients. She is already making an impact with her work and won Rehabilitation & Therapies December Star of the Month. We caught up with Molly to hear about her work so far. 

Molly has been talking to adult inpatients to hear their opinions and to provide some non-clinical support. She said: “The clinical staff are so amazing, talking to patients and taking care of them as much as they have, but they've got a lot on. So, I’m happy to take anything off their plate.”

Molly is gathering information to scope out a programme of activities to reduce loneliness, develop new skills or interests and improve well-being. She is also using this opportunity to signpost patients to existing support, including the brilliant range of arts offerings already available to patients.

It's the first time I've worked in an NHS Trust and I really love it. Everyone is so friendly and I really like the difference between the two hospitals.

Molly has found that patients are really missing communicating with people. “They're missing visitors and a lot of people are missing their pets, which is a big thing. We're currently trying to develop some new volunteering roles for a virtual befriending scheme. This will allow our patients and volunteers to meet virtually as often or as little as they like. It will create a virtual space where they can chat, do some activities together or whatever they feel like they need to do in that time.”

Molly is also scoping out the potential for quizzes, film nights or bingo, which will help to build community within patients on the wards. The activities that might be created are still evolving as Molly gets patient input.

Health isn't just about physical health, it's also your well-being and I think they go hand in hand. These sort of activities and participatory projects can have such a positive impact on people. Visitation has been so limited, any chance to build relationships and improve communication is just so important, whether that’s through playing bingo or just having a chat. 

Molly said: “I would like to ensure that every patient has the best possible experience whist in our care, both in terms of clinical and holistic support. The staff are amazing, and I want to contribute to the high quality care we give patients by providing diversionary activities that can make their time in hospital more pleasant. I'm so grateful for the Charity for finding the funds for my role, so I'll try my hardest to make a difference.”

Thank you to NHS Charities Together for funding this role at the hospitals.