Patients aged five and under requiring ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgery can now drive their own personal car into theatre independently, relieving mum and dad’s fears while making a visit to hospital less scary.
The brainchild of Gosford Private Clinical Manager Mandy Akamarmoi, this initiative adds to Gosford Private Hospital’s patient experience charter – where every patient matters.
“At Gosford Private, we’re always focused on how we can make each patient experience the best it can be.”
“For our younger patients, feeling in control and being accompanied by happy parents is key. An added sense of fun helps to promote a positive experience, overall,” says Mandy.
First piloted two months ago, Gosford Private recently bought two more cars, boosting its fleet to five. Brightly coloured pink, purple, red and blue cars now regularly commute the hospital’s ENT surgical corridors.
Young patients, generally in need of tonsil or grommet surgery, now report to the hospital’s day surgery and are escorted to the ‘waiting bay’ to select their car of choice. Gosford Private’s wardsmen or operations assistants then greet them in their patient bay, before anaesthetic to ensure these very special patients feel in control before surgery.
The corridors are wide and long – around 40 metres in length and adjoining 11 theatres – which gives all patients and parents the opportunity to relax on their commute to surgery in a brightly coloured car, before ‘driving in’ to their anaesthetic bay.
Anaesthetists report that the children arrive much happier, more compliant and move more smoothly into surgery which, in turn, supports a better outcome.
“We really wanted to tackle the stigma of surgery. Obviously as a parent it’s daunting to accompany your child into surgery, which often makes our little patients more anxious. When parents are relaxed, the children are too.”
By all accounts, parents agree this new initiative is positive.
"It really does make surgery fun. Giving the kids control over their trip to theatre equals calm parents and a better patient experience, overall,” Mandy says.
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