Anna McNeela

Introducing HELPP

Background

 

The HELPP mnemonic stands for: hello, explain, length of wait, pain assessment, polite and person-centred. It was designed following an increase in complaints from patients and relatives about the lack of communication and knowing what was happening within the patient journey, which at times affected the patient journey negatively. It is a quick and simple reference to communicate with patients what is happening within their journey and how long it may take.

[HELPP] is a quick and simple reference to communicate with patients what is happening within their journey and how long it may take

 

With clinical governance becoming even more prevalent within nursing, the HELPP mnemonic will enable a more positive patient journey involving them within their care.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the project was to educate staff on the new tool and implement it within my new NHS Trust.

 nurse talking to patient back

[HELPP] was designed following an increase in complaints from patients and relatives about the lack of communication and knowing what was happening within the patient journey, which at times affected the patient journey negatively

Activity to date

Unfortunately, the whole project had to be postponed, as when I started within the new trust the Care Quality Commission announced their visit. The matron felt it was not appropriate to implement anything new as she felt it could be viewed as something we had done to impress inspectors. It was also felt that the organisation had invested in the ‘Hello, my name is’ campaign and should focus on it. I was advised that it would be revisited later in 2018.  

Lessons learned

Even though it is a simple tool it was quite hard to implement and to keep traction going within the team. I did engage in a small team of nurses to help drive the idea and educate the teams.

open book

The way forward

I feel that this tool this could assist in assessment of pain scores and evaluation of the effectiveness of analgesia. If I was able to implement within my current trust, I envisage the need for HELPP ‘champions’ who could regularly remind staff to use the tool. Champions could speak with patients about their experiences of the tool and its effectiveness. I suggest that a presentation to the hospital via the Change Forum would be beneficial to ascertain interest from other clinical areas in using the tool. It would be important for the pain team to engage so they can conduct an audit to ascertain whether pain assessments had increased following implementation.