The new lap tray mats are bright and easy to read

NHS Western Isles has become the first Health Board in Scotland to develop and introduce new lap tray mats to its hospitals, welcoming patients to the ward, and providing an array of important patient information by the bedside.

The mats were launched earlier this year, and have received positive feedback from both patients and staff.

NHS Western Isles Nurse Director, Chris Anne Campbell, said: “The lap tray mats were launched as part of our ‘What Matters To You’ day earlier this year, when staff were asked to focus specifically on considering ‘what are the things that matter most to your patients?’

“One of the things we know really matters to patients is having the right information at their fingertips when they are in hospital – hence the reason we introduced these lap tray mats.”

She continued: “I am delighted with the feedback received, which has been very positive.

“The reason these lap tray mats work so well is that they are bright and easy to read – patients can refer back to them as they need to, as they are kept by the bedside. 

“They also contain such a wide range of information in one place: from how to provide feedback and information about confidentiality, to infection prevention information and how to avoid falls.” 

Providing information on visiting; protected mealtimes; nurse/ward rounds; steps to stay safe in hospital; WiFi; smokefree grounds; a staff/uniform ‘who’s who’; discharge from hospital; and how to provide feedback, the mats, which are A3 size, are bright and informative, and have already attracted national attention, with other Health Boards interested in developing something similar.

“There has already been interest in our new lap tray mats from the Scottish Government and from other Health Boards, which is a reflection of how innovative and effective they are,” said Mrs Campbell.

The lap trays are part of a package of person-centred materials recently developed and launched by NHS Western Isles.

'Welcome to the Ward’ and ‘Welcome to the Hospital’ Information leaflets have also been developed; corporate information display boards are now on display at the entrances of hospitals, and new ward information boards (with ward-specific information to be updated daily by each ward) are now outside ward areas throughout Western Isles hospitals.

New, extended hospital visiting times have also been introduced from 11am to 8pm, seven days a week (there is also flexibility if relatives/friends wish to visit out with this time).

Mrs Campbell added: “We were keen to develop a full package of new materials and initiatives to make every patient’s stay in hospital as comfortable as possible. 

“Ensuring patients have the information and support they require when they are inpatients is vital and improves the overall patient experience.”

Double-sided, the lap tray mats provide a wealth of information directly and easily to patients