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Bright idea from West Suffolk Hospital nurse ‘improves patient safety’

West Suffolk Hospital staff with patient Clive Turner and the new green cups. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK HOSPITAL

West Suffolk Hospital staff with patient Clive Turner and the new green cups. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK HOSPITAL

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A simple idea from a nurse at West Suffolk Hospital which was submitted into a staff suggestion box has “instantly improved patient safety”.

Kate Ramsey, staff nurse, who came up with the green cups idea. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK HOSPITALKate Ramsey, staff nurse, who came up with the green cups idea. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK HOSPITAL

Kate Ramsey, a staff nurse at the Bury St Edmunds hospital, came up with the idea of green cups being used to signify a drink that contains soluble medication.

Kate, who came up with the idea while studying at the University of Suffolk, said the system avoids medication being mistaken for water and tipped away and identifies it as priority for the patient to consume.

Kate said: “When doing my nursing degree I realised that the cups used for the water fountains, and for patients’ medications look exactly the same, with nothing to distinguish between them.

“I thought it would be good to have a system in place which easily flags which fluids have soluble medication within them, to ensure they are not accidentally thrown away, and that they are identified as a priority for the patient to consume.

“I joined the trust around 18 months ago, and never forgot about my idea, so decided to put it in the staff suggestion box. I thought nothing of it, but some weeks later the transformation team came to me and said they wanted to implement my idea.”

Marie Marfleet, clinical project manager in the transformation team at WSFT, said: “We encourage staff on every level to put forward their ideas in a free and open forum.

“Kate’s idea is a fantastic example of an idea becoming a reality, and instantly improving patient safety and outcomes.

“We implemented Kate’s innovation across all hospital wards. It has minimal cost implications, and the cups are all dishwasher safe and hard-wearing.”

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