Southampton nurses pledge to help reduce noise at night

Nurses in Southampton have launched a drive to reduce noise and help patients enjoy a better night’s sleep during their time in hospital.

Results from the national NHS Inpatient Survey 2014 showed 37% of patients at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust were disturbed by noise overnight from other patients and 22% by noise from staff.

As a result, the nursing teams at Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals and hospice Countess Mountbatten House have developed an innovative patient booklet on what steps are being taken to reduce noise and what patients themselves can do to help.

In addition, nurses across the trust have signed up to a “noise at night” pledge, which sets out standards of clinical practice and identifies simple measures to reduce overnight disturbances.

These include keeping voices down when talking to patients or colleagues, reducing bed moves through better forward planning and ensuring patients are aware eye masks and ear plugs are available for them.

It also urges staff to dim overhead lights and use pen torches where possible and encourages patients to turn off their TVs or use headphones.

The patient information guide includes top tips on ensuring a peaceful night, how to respect other patients who are trying to sleep and a range of relaxation techniques to help people unwind.

Juliet Cox, head of patient experience at UHS, said: “Reducing noise at night to ensure patients can relax and have a good sleep is a key indicator of quality care.

“It is often the case that what are thought of as more minor issues can really affect a patient’s experience of their time in hospital and a lack of sleep can be very distressing.”

She added: “We hope that, by taking these simple steps to alert both staff and patients to the problems and solutions, we will be able to help patients rest well when they need it most.

Posted on Thursday 1 October 2015