A national survey published today has revealed that patients continue to highly rate the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals treating them, and have confidence in the treatment they receive, during their time spent in hospital at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.
The independent survey, undertaken by Quality Health and standardised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), asked adult patients who were discharged from University Hospitals Plymouth during July 2018, after having spent at least one night in hospital, to rate various aspects of their stay and care.
The results are intended for use by the CQC to monitor and regulate quality of care, as well as by NHS trusts to help improve patient experience.
“We already know that confidence in staff providing treatment remains high, thanks to our regular Friends and Family feedback,” explains Lenny Byrne, Chief Nurse. “It is important to view this in the context of ever-increasing operational pressures, as it is a testament to our highly skilled and passionate colleagues.”
University Hospitals Plymouth’s results showed a particular reduction in the amount of noise at night created by hospital staff, which is something we had vowed to work on last year.
“We know how important it is for our patients to get a good night’s sleep. We’ve been working hard to measure the levels of disturbances on our wards at night, and our Acute Care Team have been raising awareness of the need to provide a quiet and peaceful environment for our patients at night,” said Lenny. “We have also taken on-board feedback through our Making Every Experience Excellent (MEEE) programme and are currently implementing these measures across the wards, such as making a real effort to control patient pain levels, which is another area highly rated in the report.”
Furthermore, we have seen a continuous improvement in the overall rating of food served to inpatients as well as the support provided by staff to help with mealtimes. In fact, support is once again a common theme, with patients highly rating the care received from support staff, such as housekeepers, cleaners, porters and administrators. Patients also reported feeling well looked after emotionally by hospital staff during their stay.
“We are really proud of our staff for their ongoing high level provision of emotional support to our patients,” adds Lenny. “It is no surprise that our staff receive thousands of thank you cards and gestures of gratitude every day, for their tireless efforts to put patients first, even at really difficult times.”
Overall, the Trust scores remained mainly the same in comparison to 2017 or had a small variance in points. There were, however, a small number of areas where the Trust’s score had gone down from the previous year’s survey. They include:
- Experiencing some delays in discharges due to a wait for medicines or an ambulance
- Having enough information and privacy during examinations and treatment in the Emergency Department
- Feeling included by doctors in discussions
- Knowing how to make a complaint
“It’s really helpful to capture feedback like this from our patients and their relatives, as it helps us to understand what we are doing well, but also to help us identify areas to work on,” explains Beverley Allingham, Deputy Chief Nurse.
“We have already seen a number of improvements this year in relation to being discharged from hospital, as a result of prioritising improvements to the discharge pathway. We are undertaking further work around discharge medications and making a real effort to improve communication to patients and carers, especially around transport.
"The pressure faced by our Emergency Department is constantly increasing, but we hope this will be eased by the expected expansion in 2022, and having more space will of course support privacy and dignity. Information about how to get in contact with the Patient Advice and Liaison Service and complaints team are now on noticeboards on all wards, and the welcome centre is now open every week day.
“Finally, we are really pleased to acknowledge the consistently improving scores for providing family, friends and carers with all the information that they need to help care for patients, especially since we introduced the Carers Policy in 2017, recognising the importance of promoting the patient carer relationship to support patient experience, wellbeing and discharge from hospital.”
A total of 570 patients discharged by University Hospitals Plymouth were surveyed. There was a 47% response rate, above the national average of 45%. The National Inpatient Survey 2018 involved 144 NHS acute trusts in England and in total, 76,668 responses were received from service users.