Virgin Care’s services in Bath are now more welcoming, thanks to a special new sign

Patients arriving to use the NHS community services at St Martin’s Hospital in Bath will get an improved welcome from this week, with an electronic lobby sign guiding their way to services from physiotherapy to blood tests.

Twelve different outpatient services operate from the hospital, which is also home to Sulis rehabilitation ward, community services which visit people in their own homes and offices.

People who use services at the hospital had long fed back that they found it difficult to find their way around, with many people accessing multiple services on each visit.

The sign interactively guides people on their way to the right service, and provides important health information, from its location in the entrance hall.

Virgin Care, which runs the outpatient service as part of Bath and North East Somerset Community Health and Social care Services, funded the improvement through its Feel the Difference Fund. The fund is a dedicated £100,000 a year that’s made available for projects designed and delivered by frontline staff to improve the experience of using services.

Virgin Care’s Citizens’ Panel – a panel of local people who want to help shape health and care services– scored the idea highly and said the improvement was “long overdue”.

Mandy Miles, Occupational Therapy Lead and Head of Ambulatory Care, said: “I hope this will help improve the service user experience of locating where they need to be when they come into the Outpatients area. Ambulatory Care can already be a confusing environment and the introduction of a lobby sign is a simple but effective way to put visitors at ease, which improves the quality of service we can provide.” 

Kirsty Matthews, Managing Director of Bath and North East Somerset Community Health and Care Services, said: “Although colleagues working at the community hospital are always friendly and helpful to all people who come to the hospital, it can be difficult to find your way around and people visiting about medical problems may already be stressed and worried.

“The introduction of this new sign helps provide people with reassurance that they’re headed the right way for an appointment.”