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The Three Wise Monkeys Project

11 April 2019

ThreewisemonkeysThe three wise monkeys are being used in a new initiative to try to prevent the loss of glasses, hearing aids and dentures during a patient’s stay in our hospital.

The Wise Monkey Project has been set up to try and reduce the misplacing of these three crucial aids to everyday living after research showed that the loss of personal effects within the trust can cause considerable issues for patients and staff. 

For patients it can result in emotional distress, communication issues and eating difficulties. Being unable to see or read, hear or eat properly all have negative effects on a patient’s well-being in addition to the upset caused by not being able to find the item.

The cost implications of the loss of items – where they have to be replaced or the patient needs to be compensated – is a relatively small but significant sum of money each year. Even if only three or four items are mislaid every month from the thousands of patients seen then the cost can run into hundreds of pounds each year, and staff will normally spend some time trying to locate the items, taking them away from other duties.


In order to try and reduce such losses, the Project is trialling two new boxes – one for dentures and one for hearing aids and glasses. The boxes are brightly coloured to make them easily visible and will hopefully provide a more standardised way of ensuring the safe keeping of these valuable items while patients are in hospital.

The relevant box or boxes will be given to patients on their admission and the aim is they will stay with them throughout their hospital journey to try to keep these items safe.

The boxes are being distributed to wards from today, initially for a trial period until the end of the month.