Staff at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals are constantly seeking to improve the patient experience. Thanks to donations made to the Patients’ Fund we can give out grants to fund small projects that will make a huge difference in our hospitals. Yolande Smuts-Gardener, Catering Duty Manager at Royal Brompton Hospital, applied to the Patients’ Fund to buy china mugs to make patients’ stays more homely and improve sustainability on the ward.

“We've got a very big drive here about trying to make sure that we give our patients a little bit of home,” said Yolande. “On Sunday morning we do cooked breakfast for all the patients on the ward where they get a paper menu. On this menu there is a feedback form where we ask patients whether they enjoy their meals, which dishes they like and ask for suggestions. We had quite a few suggestions which said it would be nice to have a proper cup of tea, because tea in a paper cup was just not the same.”

Paper cups were less than ideal when it came to patient safety. The cups are quite flexible and difficult to hold when they were hot, which could lead to spills. The catering department had also been asked to reduce their use of single use paper and plastic as part of wider efforts to improve sustainability.

“We’ve got a ward of 30 patients where 20 of them might have hot drinks. Over the seven hot drinks rounds we carry out a day these mugs will have a major impact on how much disposable material we’re using in the department.”

Yolande has already received great feedback from patients she’s spoken to on her tea rounds. They have told her that the mugs are easier to hold and help keep their drinks warmer for longer. She also added: “I know these mugs will encourage patients to drink a lot more. We work with dietitians to try and get patients to drink more and encourage them to get more liquid into their bodies. Having your tea during the day is a part of that.”

This is just one of a range of projects supported by our Patients’ Fund. The Patients’ Fund aims to improve the experience of patients at the hospitals through a range of small measures that help make patient life a little more like normal life.

You can find out more, donate or fundraise for our Patients’ Fund on our website below.

Donate to the Patients' Fund