A NEW campaign to help safeguard patients’ belongings has been launched at Scarborough Hospital.
The initiative is called SHADES, which stands for spectacles, hearing aids and dentures, as these are items which can sometimes go missing.
Staff are being encouraged to check for personal belongings before they change a patient’s bed linen, clean the bedside locker or strip the bed when the patient is being discharged home or transferred out of the hospital.
Staff undertaking the SHADES check are reminded to check for the above items as well as any other belongings of patients that may have got caught up in the bed linen or left behind in their locker.
Elaine Hayward, service redesign manager, explained: “Losing spectacles, hearing aids or dentures can have a real impact on patients’ privacy, dignity and safety.
“Loss of a hearing aid could result in miscommunication between staff and the patient, whilst loss of dentures could result in poor nutrition and oral health.
“Often when patients are admitted to hospital, particularly if they are elderly, they may be unable to look after their own belongings or remember what they brought with them. It is therefore important that we do this on their behalf.
“Undertaking the SHADES check and making this a routine part of the bed linen change will help us to support patients in keeping their essential belongings safe and at hand.”
The idea was dreamt up by a group of healthcare assistants and the acronym was developed by a porter who works at Bridlington Hospital.
Mrs Hayward added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and enthusiasm.”