The covers were the brainchild of staff nurse Pip Page-Davies who works on Oswald Ward, the specialist oncology ward at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry.
“It’s been clear that the confidence of our patients has grown”
Those treated for a bone or soft tissue cancer often need a drainage bag but can feel self-conscious with it on show, noted The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Ms Page-Davies said she started sewing the bags to boost patients’ confidence when moving around the ward and when away from clinical areas.
“As a ward, we try to encourage our patients to have as much independence as possible, so when they’re ready, they can spend time off the ward,” she explained.
“I really feel the drain bag covers have encouraged patients to feel less conscious and more confident, so giving a little bit of time to make these is a huge benefit for our patients.”
She said that the covers had a noticeable impact on patient welfare and overall wellbeing.
“It’s been clear that the confidence of our patients has grown, dignity has improved and the risk of falls has been reduced, which certainly makes it worthwhile,” she added.
“It’s really fantastic to see our nurses thinking outside the box”
The idea of the bag covers was first discussed between the team. Ms Page-Davies then contacted a local company – Textile Express in Oswestry – which donated the fabric.
Oswald Ward manager Donna St John said the initiative was just one example of how the team continued to seek ways to improve patient care.
“The team are always looking for innovative ways to make lives for our patients better, and Pip’s idea of making covers for drainage bags is no exception,” she said.
“The benefits are endless and the patients that have used them have commented on how much more assured they feel leaving the ward knowing others can’t see their drainage bag.”
Sarah Bloomfield, interim director of nursing at the trust, said she was proud of the team’s creative approach.
“It’s really fantastic to see our nurses thinking outside the box with how they can improve the day-to-day lives for our patients,” she said.
“Our patients’ feeling dignified and confident is extremely important and I am so proud of the team on Oswald Ward for the work they’ve done to improve this,” she added.
Drain bag covers
Source: Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust