CQC’s Survey: Hospital Experiences Improving

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

According to the results of CQC’s national survey of hospital patients it appears that people are generally having a better experience in hospital compared to a year ago. However, the report published yesterday, also showed that there is room for improvement with some variation in the quality of people’s stay.

CQC gathered the views of over 62,400 people who had stayed in hospital for at least one night last year. People were asked about the care they had received, including the information they were given by staff, whether they were given enough privacy, the cleanliness of their wards, and their discharge arrangements.

People were more positive about their stay in hospital, with most responses in the survey having improved or stayed the same since 2012.

Key findings from the report are as follows:

Overall experience

  •  71% rated their overall experience as 8 or above and 27% as 10 out of 10 (up from 69% and 25% in 2012).

Dignity and respect

  • 81% of people felt they were always treated with dignity and respect (up from 80% in 2012).

Discharge arrangements

  • 54% felt that they were “definitely” involved in decisions about their discharge from hospital (an increase from 53% in 2012 but this still leaves 46% who did not feel fully involved).

Providing information to patients

  • 3 out of 4 said that they were given the “right amount” of information about their condition or treatment by staff when they went through A&E (up from 74% in 2012 to 75%) and 80% said the same about their hospital ward (79% in 2012).
  • However, 39% felt they were not given enough information about the side effects of their medication before being sent home.

On a national scale the survey showed improvements in hospitals but the survey also showed a wide range in performance between NHS trusts.

Areas where there was variation include:

  • patients seeing, or being given, information explaining how to make a complaint.
  • whether they received copies of letters sent between their hospital doctors and GPs.
  • whether staff told them about any danger signals they should watch out for after being discharged.

Areas that showed the least variation – and where NHS trusts scored well overall – included:

  • whether patients felt threatened by other patients or visitors during their stay.
  • whether they had enough privacy when they were being examined or treated.
  • whether hand-wash gels were available.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards said, “it is encouraging that the results for many of the questions in the survey show improvements, with areas such as information provision, cleanliness and privacy all performing better than last year. However, scope for continued improvement remains, including with how patients are involved in their discharge arrangements.”

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