Yeovil Hospital has welcomed the results of the latest NHS inpatient survey, with the vast majority of local patients reporting an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Nearly 450 people who were admitted into the hospital during 2013 responded to the survey, conducted by the national care watchdog the Care Quality Commission. They were asked 70 questions about every element of their hospital experience, from arrival to discharge, with the results combined to provide a percentage score for each question.
Results from the inpatient survey are used by the hospital to inform decisions about care services, the hospital environment, and the workforce. They also help the hospital gauge whether the patient experiencing is improving year-on-year.
This year saw improvements in patient satisfaction across more than half of the survey questions asked. These included some key areas such as choice of food, privacy, emotional support, and the way in which staff communicated with patients about important things, such as the risks and benefits of operations.
Other headlines from this year’s survey include:
• 74 per cent of patients said the hospital was ‘very clean’, with a further 23% describing it as ‘fairly clean’.
• 83 per cent of patients said their wait for a hospital appointment was no longer than they thought necessary.
• 65 per cent of patients said the food was ‘very good’ or ‘good’.
• When asked to rate their overall experience of the hospital from 1-10, with 1=very poor, and 10=very good, 75 per cent of patients rated their experience between 8-10
• A number of questions asked patients about the way in which information was provided to them. 80 per cent of patients said they were provided with the ‘right amount’ of information about their treatment, and 88 per cent said staff explained ‘completely’ all of the risks and benefits of an operation or procedure.
However, 24 per cent of people said that more information could have been provided to family members of carers to enable them to better support them after they were discharged from the hospital.
Paul Mears, Chief Executive of Yeovil Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “There are some very positive things to take away from these results, as well as some areas where we clearly need to focus our attention. We’re particularly pleased to see improvements in important areas such as privacy, communication, and the emotional support we provide to patients. The high overall score, which the majority of our patients gave us, also demonstrates that we are providing a good experience across the whole hospital.
“There is some work to do to improve certain elements of care and support, including the way we support and enable family members to care for relatives after discharge. We will be looking at this in more detail as we work with other colleagues in the NHS and social care.
“The inpatient provides a snapshot of the patient experience at a particular time. While the results give us some very useful data to compare our performance with other Trusts, at Yeovil Hospital we are continually engaging with our patients through a range of methods to gather their feedback to inform improvements. Very recent changes to our patient engagement service will enable us to get even better at this, with a new recruitment drive for the volunteer team which helps patients to give their feedback, and guidance from our partner, The Patients Association.”
The high positive responses about cleanliness come as Yeovil Hospital records more than a whole year without a case of MRSA, the potentially dangerous bacterial infection. The hospital has also recorded a very low number of cases of clostridium difficile (C DIf) cases; well below the level set in national standards.
Both infections can be more easily transferred in a hospital setting due to the types of medication commonly used and certain procedures.
Helen Ryan, Yeovil Hospital’s Director of Nursing, said: “Maintaining a clean hospital environment is one of the most fundamental ways to ensure safe care, and our exceptional cleaning and housekeeping teams have played a vital part in keeping these potentially dangerous infections at bay during the last year.
“We also have a skilled infection control team ensuring all our staff use good working practices across the entire hospital, and taking swift action to avoid the transfer of any illnesses within wards.”