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Reduced waiting time to see a doctor helps improve patient experience

Reduced waiting time to see a doctor helps improve patient experience

Thursday, October 19, 2017

North Middlesex University Hospital has welcomed the publication of the national emergency department survey 2016 which showed a reduction in the time before a patient first speaks to a nurse or doctor.

In the survey of patients who were treated in September 2016, the department received an average score of 68%, higher than the previous emergency department survey in 2014. A total of 1250 questionnaires were sent to patients and 236 were returned completed, a response rate of 20%.

One question showed statistically significant improvement, 34 questions showed no significant change and no questions showed a statistically significant worsening of score since the previous patient survey in 2014. The survey found no significant worsening of patient experience.

However, the trust scored in the bottom 20% of all trusts on 28 questions. No questions were scored in the top 20%.
Positive comments by patients included:

 “I found the hospital very busy but very efficient. They all deserve a medal.”
 “I could not have been treated any better. I was really looked after like royalty.”
 “I have been to this ED several times and have always found all staff kind and helpful, despite sometimes they have

     been under considerable stress from the sheer number of people waiting to access the service.”
 “I have to thank the staff who were on duty that day. They really did a great job because I could not bear the pain. I was
    OK before I left the hospital. They should keep it up. Thanks.”

Less positive comments included:
 “It would be useful when going to A&E to be told the expected waiting time.”
 “A five hour wait was unfortunate but no-one was able to give me an idea on waiting time… It would have been nice to

     go and get some food.”
 “I was not given any definitive answers about my condition and my results were never sent to my GP.”
 “There was not enough security in the waiting area as there were two people heavily drinking in the corner which made
     me and my mum feel uncomfortable.”

Since the survey was carried out, the department has made significant improvements to services. These include:
 ambulance patients being seen more quickly by a senior clinician who can start treatments, including pain relief, much earlier
 the “front door” initial assessment process being improved so that patients are quickly allocated to the most

    appropriate area to be seen by the most appropriate clinician
 an increase in the number of nurses ensuring that patients are monitored and reassessed regularly
 further reduction in the initial time to be seen by a doctor over the last year
 improved patient pathways to assessment areas, reducing the waiting time for patients who need multiple assessments
    to be seen by specialty doctors
 a significant improvement in recent Friends and Family test (FFT) results, showing that increasingly patients are likely to recommend the ED (51% in August 2017, 58% in September 2017).

Chief executive Libby McManus said: “We are pleased that the improvements we had begun to make at the time of the survey a year ago have been highlighted in this report and that patient experience has continued to improve.
“Our emergency department has been working tirelessly and we are pleased that our recent Friends and Family test results show 58% of patients recommending the department. We are determined to carry on improving the quality of care for all our patients.”

The full survey results are published on the NHS Surveys website . The trust’s survey is here: