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National Inpatient Survey highlights positive patient experiences at UHMBT

Lynne Wyre Director of Nursing

A national survey has highlighted the experiences of inpatients at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) and at Trusts across England.

UHMBT and 76 other Trusts commissioned Picker, an international charity working across health and social care, to undertake the 2018 Adult Inpatient Survey and the results were recently published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In total, the 2018 Adult Inpatient Survey involved 144 Acute NHS Trust and NHS Foundation Trusts in England which sent out questionnaires to a total of 178,681 patients.

National responses were received by 76,668 people, which gives an adjusted response rate of 45 per cent, compared to a 41 per cent response rate overall in 2017.

The results for overall patient experience mean UHMBT is now ranked 14th out of 77 NHS Trusts in England who used Picker. UHMBT has no below average results and the Trust also scored significantly better in 21 questions when comparing the average scores for other participating Trusts using Picker.

On a national level, patients who took part in the 2018 survey raised concerns about the sustainability of care quality in the face of mounting pressures on the NHS.

Senior leaders at UHMBT said the Trust’s results showed that staff were still delivering great results for patients despite significant financial pressures.

UHMBT took the decision to invite more people to undertake the survey instead of just conducting it against the minimum baseline number. A total of 2,500 people were invited to complete the 2018 survey compared to 1,232 in the previous year – more than double the number.

Forty six per cent (1,098 people) completed the 2018 survey, compared to 43.5 per cent (521 people) in 2017. Even with a significantly boosted sample size, the Trust’s response rate was also higher than the national average response rate.

Positive findings of UHMBT’s report include the following:

The proportion of patients reporting being given enough privacy when being examined or treated continues to be very high.
Relationships with the medical and nursing staff are usually positive although there is a small decline compared to last year. For example, patients reported that overall, doctors and nurses answered their questions in a way they understood.
Trust in doctors and nurse is high although declining slightly compared to last year.
The fundamental needs of most patients are being met in terms of food, hydration and rest.
However, this year’s results indicate that there are areas in need of improvement in terms of integration of care, waiting times for admissions, information provided on leaving hospital and patients being involved in decisions about their care.

Lynne Wyre, Director of Nursing for UHMBT, said: “It is pleasing to note that the Trust ranked 14th in terms of overall positive scores ranking in comparison to the overall positive score of every other inpatient organisation that ran this 2018 survey with Picker.

“When examining historical changes, there have been key improvements since 2017. We have identified core strengths in respect of knowing which nurse was in charge of care, the number of nurses on duty, patients not being bothered by noise at night, discussions at the point of discharge about equipment and home adaptation requirements, as well as the important amount of emotional support patients felt was being afforded them from hospital staff.

“Nationally, many aspects of patient experience have remained relatively stable in the past 10 years. Trust in doctors and nurses remains high, communication between patients and staff is positive and privacy is good. However, there are static or declining results in respect of waiting times both for admission and discharge.

“We will now put together an improvement plan which will be developed in line with the findings of the inpatient survey. Improving patient experience and making quality improvements are key parts of our Trust strategy. We have developed a Patient Experience Strategy that aims to involve patients and the public to ensure the highest standards of quality and care.

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