National Outpatient Survey

14/02/12

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has welcomed feedback from patients following the publication of the fourth National NHS Outpatient Survey.

Carried out by the health inspectorate, the Care Quality Commission, questionnaires were sent to 850 randomly selected patients who received treatment as an outpatient at either Cheltenham General or Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals in April 2011.

Overall, the Trust performed well when compared to other Trusts in overall impression of the Outpatient Departments.

482 patients responded to the survey, providing their views on the quality of the care they received. This was a good response rate of 58% which was above the national average.

The survey includes questions on the provision of information from staff, the level to which they felt involved in decisions and their perception of their time at the hospital.

The overall reporting of the patients’ experience was rated as good to excellent by 93% of respondents; 88% reported they were treated with respect and dignity all of the time in the Outpatient Department and 84% said they had enough privacy for discussion their condition or treatment.

Whilst the overall results were comparable to many other Trusts nationally, there are areas where improvement can be made. Our Governors and other patient and carer representatives have worked with us to prioritise these. They include improving patient’s experience when waiting, especially when there are unavoidable delays; ensuring staff are always informing the patients/carers about delays, keeping them updated on how long they may need to wait, apologising and providing a reason whenever possible.

Other areas include improving the environment in outpatient departments and improved communications including working with doctors to provide clearer explanations of changes to medication, reasons for tests, when results will be shared and to provide jargon-free, easy to understand answers to patient questions.

Gill Brook, Head of Patient Experience at the Trust, said:  “Gathering our outpatient’s views of their experiences is vital to enabling us to improve and make a difference. Staff are focused and committed to improving the experience of patients and carers in the areas we have described."