Local hospitals to begin ‘Shh’ campaign to help patients sleep

Clinicians at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) are hoping patients will have a silent night as the ‘Shh’ campaign gets under way.

Launching this week, Sleep Helps Healing (or Shh) is a new initiative for the Trust which will see the implementation of a few simple rules for staff to follow as patients get ready to journey to the land of nod. The main objective of the campaign is to minimise, as much as possible, all noise, ensuring individuals can snooze peacefully and without interruption.

Countless studies show that sleep is incredibly important to health. A lack of shut-eye can lead to a weakened immune system, an increased sensitivity to pain as well as general irritability. Despite the best efforts of hospital staff, wards can be very noisy places due to a number of factors, often leading to broken and unsatisfactory sleep for many patients.

In order to address this issue DBTH, following an example set by South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will be implementing the Shh scheme, introducing the following rules for staff:

  • Lights will be dimmed from 11pm, and patients asked to switch all devices to silent and headphones used where possible
  • All equipment will be placed within easy reach for staff and all buzzers, alarms and bleeps addressed as quickly as possible
  • Staff will wear soft-soled footwear to reduce any noise from movement
  • Upon entry to the ward, patients will be asked about their sleeping routine, with their care plan tailored to fit preferences.

With these simple, yet all-important, changes, Trust staff are hoping that patients will benefit from a restful night’s sleep, potentially speeding up recovery and helping them get home much sooner.

Cindy Storer, Director of Quality and Governance, said: “Ensuring that patients staying with us get good, quality sleep is hugely important. Medical research and literature suggests that rest is an essential component to recovery and therefore as a Trust we will be doing our utmost to ensure patients get a good night’s sleep.

“The Sleep Helps Healing (Shh) campaign was introduced at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to great success some time ago and we hope it will show further promising results in Doncaster and Worksop. It is our goal to be the safest Trust in England, outstanding in all we do – we believe this upcoming project is another step towards this ambition.”

Throughout the next few weeks, posters, guidance and other supporting materials will be shared with Trust staff to ensure that ‘Shh’ is implemented throughout the organisation, starting with Gresley and Mallard Wards (care of older people).