What is the Sit&See tool?

Developed in response to a local desire to respond to a national problem in nursing, this simple observation tool has been developed, to capture and record the smallest things that make the biggest different to patients’ care, kindness and compassion. After just one day’s training, an observer will see tiny examples of care or compassion and using a simple recording system can identify positive, passive or poor compassionate care.

The observer can sit (or stand) for between 15-50 minutes and observe and celebrate tiny examples of care and compassion or recommend how to improve aspects of care. For example a smile, a little banter, helping the patient’s day, perhaps sorting out their radio. It also captures dispassionate care, a patient or service user being ignored, the drink being out of reach, or a person who is disorientated being told to be quiet.

For single bedded services, a “wander and listen” approach can be used. In outpatients of surgeries, the observer can see, hear and feel how welcoming, caring and supportive staff are to those coming for an investigation or to report new health concerns; or it may capture tiny episodes of business-like responses that can leave the patient feeling they cannot ask for more information.

In recovery or educational services, the tool can be used to observe how staff support service users to develop their confidence, independence and sense of self-worth and record how caring and compassionate the staff are.

The beauty of the tool is its simplicity, and is based on what you see and hear if you are a service or visitor.  The tool enables the observer to ask themselves a simple question “How would I feel if I was supported or cared for in that way?”

The tool records both quantitative and qualitative data, compassionate and dispassionate care and is being used at every level of an organisation in health, social care and educational services.

The beauty of the tool is its simplicity, and is based on what you see and hear if you are a service or visitor.  The tool enables the observer to ask themselves a simple question “How would I feel if I was supported or cared for in that way?”

We’ve trained six of our governors and it’s part of our development for our healthcare assistants and student nurses.