Improvements in North Mid’s operational and clinical performance over the past 18 months have not been mirrored sufficiently in patients’ experiences of their care, according to figures published today by the Care Quality Commission as part of the results of the 2018 inpatient survey.
The annual ‘snapshot’ survey saw 400 patients who had inpatient care at North Mid in July 2018 answer a set of standard questions about their experience while in hospital, which is just over one-third (33.56%) of the 1192 patients who were asked to complete the survey. The results overall show that North Mid still has substantial improvements to make to ensure patients get the excellent experience we are committed to providing.
The top areas of concern were planning for patients leaving from hospital – more than half of patients said they had not received any written information about taking care of themselves after being discharged from hospital, or about possible side effects of medications, and nearly half had not been told about signs to watch out for during their recovery.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of all comments made by the 400 patients who responded to the survey were positive, and nine out of 10 respondents said they had confidence in the doctors, nurses and other health professionals treating them, and they saw good team working between clinicians.
More than half of respondents said they didn’t get the attention they needed every time they needed it, for example when they used their call bell; and a quarter of respondents said they did not get enough help with meals when they felt they needed it.
Other areas which respondents said we were not getting right included changing the dates of when patients would be admitted for planned operations, managing patients’ pain during their time in hospital, delays in discharging patients from hospital, and inviting patients to tell us their views about their care while they are still in hospital.
Trust Chair Dr Peter Carter acknowledged that the results are very disappointing, and said that it is vital everyone at North Mid takes the survey findings very seriously, using them to drive forward our commitment that everyone we care for gets a first-class experience as a patient.
Dr Carter said:
“Our results of the 2018 inpatient survey are going to be a disappointment to everyone at North Mid, who I know works hard to ensure patients get the care and treatment they would want to experience themselves or for their own family.
“What these survey findings tell us is that we are not getting it right at the moment. We have made substantial improvements over the past 18 months in performance and patient safety – things which we know are very important to local people, who need to be sure they are getting the right standard of treatment when they need it. But now we need to make sure that the ‘how’ is equally good, so that everyone who needs our care knows they will get the first class experience as a patient that we aspire to give them.
“How every North Mid patient experiences their care should be the utmost importance to us, and we need to learn from every single patient’s experience to know what we’re getting right and what we need to improve, so that we are continually getting better. At the moment, fewer than one-fifth of patients share their views with us through the Friends and Family Test which every patient is entitled to complete. Nearly 85% who do fill in a Friends and Family Test tell us they would positively recommend North Mid to friends and loved ones who need similar treatment. We want to tap into the insights of the other four fifths who don’t currently share their views, so that we can tailor our improvements to ensure we’re meeting the expectations of every North Mid patient.”
North Mid has taken immediate action in commissioning Healthwatch Enfield to carry out an independent intensive review of patient experience on 10 inpatient wards to examine why patients say they aren’t getting a good experience. We want to know how we can improve on these concerns, how we can encourage a higher proportion of patients to give us their feedback, and therefore learn from every experience and continuously improve what we do.