The new patient headboards are here 

27/06/2013 00:00 

New patient headboards are being put up above every inpatient and day case bed across UCLH.
sue beatson headboards

 Sue Beatson standing near a bed with the new headboard display

What's so different about the headboards is that they now include is the name by which patients prefer to be called and the person who is responsible for their care.   Both these new fields signal a positive change in how we treat patients at UCLH.
The ‘what you prefer to be called’ field in the headboards has come about as part of the ‘always’ campaign, a list of four simple actions that staff should do to improve communication with patients. 

Sue Beatson, interim deputy chief nurse (head of nursing, specialist hospitals board) said: “How we communicate and interact with patients is a measure of how kind we are.  The four always pledges are there to remind us that each and every patient is an individual to be treated with dignity and respect.”

The four pledges are based on areas for improvement in the latest National Inpatient Survey and are that we will always:

  • introduce ourselves and our team
  • talk with you not over you;
  • call you the name you prefer
  • answer all of your questions.

The new headboards are designed to prompt staff to ask patients their preferred name. 

Sue explained: “Some people like to be called by shortened names, others prefer a more formal approach.  Everyone is different.  By asking patients how they would like to be addressed and sharing it where everyone can see it demonstrates that we are offering a more personalised, individual service that is respectful of our patient’s wishes.”
The headboard information also includes space where the name of the person who is responsible for a patient’s care must be clearly marked, and again available for everyone to see. 

Sue added: "This is very topical given health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s comments last week that the clinician-patient relationship needed to be strengthened by making sure every patient, in every hospital in the country knows which individual is accountable for their care.  This simple solution puts UCLH at the forefront of being transparent about care."


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