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Operation TLC – Creating healing environments

Written by Great Ormond Street Hospital on 21st August 2015

The Operation TLC team is visiting all in-patient wards at GOSH; discussing the benefits of natural light and distributing Operation TLC packs and goodie boxes. Simply turning lights down or off, opening curtains and making the best of use of natural light can create a more relaxing and comfortable environment for patients and staff. It is also helping the Trust meet its climate change targets, and save money.

 “Look - That bedroom light is off, that bedroom light is off, the benefits are easy to see!” – Katie Thomas, Ward Sister, Koala Ward

Success for TLC wards

Thanks to a successful pilot campaign, Operation TLC is now being rolled out to all in-patient wards at GOSH. The success of the pilot was down to the hospital staff who did a fantastic job spreading the Operation TLC message to turn off unnecessary lights and let the sunshine in.  Pilot wards, including Koala and Miffy, are now turning off nearly every unnecessary light. Over the duration of this campaign, patient satisfaction has improved and more patients are reporting that they see natural daylight and are getting enough sleep.  As well as helping improve the patient experience, by using less energy for lighting, staff on these wards are also helping to reduce pollution and carbon emissions, and saving the Trust money. The Operation TLC team would like thank all of the staff on Koala, Eagle, Elephant, Lion & Giraffe, Miffy and Rainforest wards for their support throughout the pilot.

The pilot programme has been a great success. We had a tremendous response from all of the hospital staff and we are looking forward to kicking off the campaign across many more hospital wards. – Martyn Lowder, Operation TLC Team Member

What is Operation TLC ?

Operation TLC aims to create healing environments.  For example, using natural light and switching off unnecessary artificial lighting can improve patient experience and recovery.

Did you know…

  • Increased exposure to natural light can improve patient recovery rates.
  • Reducing the use of artificial lighting at dawn and dusk can improve patient sleep patterns. 
  • Good sleep habits directly impact the mental and physical development of children
  • Turning off lights reduces energy waste and can help to keep the room at a more comfortable temperature.

What to look out for

To support hospital staff to share the benefits of natural light and remember to switch off unnecessary lights, the Operation TLC team are providing a variety of materials to each in-patient ward. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Patient postcards – We are providing each ward with Operation TLC postcards for patients to draw their favourite thing about the lights being off.
  • Light switch labels – We will be stickering light switches around the wards to remind people to switch off.
  • Superstar flyers – We will be circulating our Operation TLC Superstar flyers. These will include images of people who have been turning lights off and spreading the Operation TLC message.

What to do

You can help to create a healing environment for patients by turning off lights that are not needed and, where you can, opening curtains and blinds to let the light in.  And when you spot the Operation TLC team make sure you get your goodie box and help to spread the word.

For more information contact Brendan.Rouse@gosh.nhs.uk

“I like the postcards for the children to draw on, I think we can make a great display in the playroom showing the children’s ideas about why they like the lights off”- Play Specialist, Koala Ward

“Great idea! Stickers on light switches will be really helpful. I often get confused at night time when I want to switch the lights off – sometimes I end up switching them all on by mistake.” Nurse, Eagle Ward


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Alison Oates on 15th September 2015 at 9:05 a.m.

Using natural light in hospitals can boost patient mood and recovery.....and save energy! http://www.echy.fr/natural-light-in-hospitals/?lang=en

Vivien on 18th September 2015 at 12:30 p.m.

Stickers on lights switches will be helpfull , I often turn lights that are not needed in the recovery area where patients are recoverd after having mri under general anaesthetic , and also after work , people for get to switch lights off in rooms and corridors ,. Nurse , Radiology unit, ( MRI Recovery )

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