Patient Storybook Launched to Help Children Give Feedback

08 March 2016

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital has launched its new Storybook Patient Survey, designed to help young patients give feedback on their stay at the hospital.

To mark the occasion, Channel 5’s Milkshake! Presenter, Olivia Birchenough, visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to meet patients and officially launch the storybook survey, which is the first of its kind at an NHS children’s hospital.

The storybook survey is charitably funded by Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity and has been developed to improve patient experience and quality care within the hospital. Using patient feedback to drive change is a well embedded culture at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, yet the hospital found that most feedback came from parents, with a significantly low number of responses from children aged under 6 years old.

To improve these results, the hospital worked in partnership with CRT Health to develop an electronic survey using a storybook concept ‘Humphrey Bear Goes to Hospital’ to allow children to engage with the story in relation to their hospital experience.

The interactive storybook is aimed at children aged 3-6 years, incorporates play for participant motivation and has an overriding educational element. Interactive features are included as a ‘reward’ once the child answers each question and audio was recorded using a child’s voice as Humphrey Bear to improve accessibility for non-readers.

Commenting on the new survey, Kath Evans, Experience of Care Lead for NHS England said:

“This is a really exciting and creative way to engage young children in their healthcare experience.  Even very young children have a view of what they like and don't like and what could be done differently, we as health care professionals just need to develop the skills and resources to listen deeply and respond to this information from young children. Royal Manchester Children's Hospital is leading the way in developing this interactive storytelling and information gathering approach, the challenge as always is to act on the feedback from children so that in partnership care continues to improve at every opportunity.”

The Storybook survey was soft-launched for testing with children, parents and staff across Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in February. Results after one month showed that 92 children aged 3-6 years completed the new interactive survey, a vast improvement on the previous surveys used.

At the launch patients were delighted to meet and chat with Milkshake! star Olivia, who guided a group of young patients through the new electronic storybook, showing them how the survey worked, in a fun an interactive way.

Sue Lunt, Hospital Director for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital said:

“Listening to patients' views and collecting their feedback is essential to providing the very best health service to our patients. As a children’s hospital it is crucial that we get feedback from our young patients, so we are very thankful to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity for funding this important project. We are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to rolling out the survey across our children’s hospital.”

Sarah Naismith, Head of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, added:

“We are delighted to have been able to fund the development of the new patient storybook survey. We know that patient feedback is of great importance at the hospital, so are glad that our charitable funds can help. We’d also like to thank Olivia for coming along for the official launch. The patients loved meeting her and visits like this really are a welcome distraction for the children.”

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity is raising money to ensure continued excellence in treatment, care and research at the hospital – improving the lives of thousands of children each year across the North West and beyond.