Improvements recognised in people’s hospital experience

A national survey from the Care Quality Commission has reported that the majority of inpatients were happy with the care they received and had confidence in the doctors and nurses treating them.

The results of the 2017 inpatient survey, involving every NHS acute trust in the country, reveal what over 70,000 adults who had stayed in hospital for at least one night during July last year said about the care they received, seeking opinions on the care they received, including quality of information and communication with staff, whether they were given enough privacy, the amount of support given to help them eat and drink and assist with personal hygiene, and on their discharge arrangements.

It finds that 82 per cent thought they were ‘always’ treated with respect and dignity, compared to 78 per cent in 2009, and more people said they ‘always’ had confidence in the nurses treating them - 78 per cent in 2017 compared to 72 per cent in 2009.

Furthermore, 69 per cent felt that nurses ‘definitely’ answered important questions in a way they could understand, and of those patients who had an operation while in hospital, 62 per cent said they were ‘completely’ told how they could expect to feel after the procedure, compared to 55 per cent in 2009.

However, of growing concern, those with mental health conditions said they had less confidence and trust in hospital staff, thought they were treated with less respect and dignity and felt less informed about their care. This repeats a trend found in the results of CQC’s 2017 surveys of children and young people and patients using A&E.

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals said: “It is encouraging that the results show some areas of improvement with experiences of information provision, quality of communication and the level of confidence in doctors and nurses all performing better than in previous years. This positive feedback regarding interaction with staff is a testament to the efforts of healthcare professionals working tirelessly to provide high quality care to those that need it.

“However, scope for further improvement remains, particularly in relation to how patients are involved and informed in their discharge arrangements and the level of emotional support offered to patients during their hospital stay. This year’s survey results also show a continued disparity between the experiences of people with a mental health condition and those without. This is an area which hospitals must address to ensure that that people with physical and mental health conditions are treated equally in acute settings.”

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