Patients say they’re having a better experience in hospital


A national survey of hospital patients has shown positive improvements to the way patients experience care and treatment at Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals.

Overall, 92% of patients felt that the quality of care was ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ and the Trust showed improved scores in a number of areas.

The National Inpatients Survey is part of the National Survey Programme commissioned by the Care Quality Commission, the independent health regulator, with questionnaires sent to 850 randomly selected patients who received treatment as an inpatient at Cheltenham General or Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals in August 2011.

The Trust performed better than most other NHS organisations in providing information to patients about procedures and operations; patients who underwent these gave very positive responses and were happy with the clarity and quality of information from staff when telling them about the risks and benefits of an operation, what would take place during the operation and in answer to general questions.

456 patients responded to the Gloucestershire survey – which is a higher than average response rate. Patients provided their views on all aspects of the care they received, including treatment in A&E, their experience of being on a ward, the care given by doctors and nurses, privacy, dignity and leaving hospital. In most areas the Trust’s staff and services performed at about the same level as most other Trusts.

Mrs Gill Brook, Head of Patient Experience said: “Staff have been working to improve many aspects of patient experience and I am pleased that we have seen clear improvements within our hospitals in a number of areas, but there remains room for improvement.

“We would all like to achieve ‘better than average’ scores in many more areas and our hospital staff are committed to making a practical difference to patients and their carers and family by the way we respond to their opinions. We are committed to getting this right.

“Behind these statistics are committed hospital staff who care about patients and about how people feel when they are in hospital.

“These results show that we are right to continue to focus on improving the way that patients are discharged from our hospitals, to make sure that there is less unnecessary delay and that everyone goes home with enough information about their health, their medication and ongoing support after they leave hospital.”

The survey shows that the Trust did worse than other Trusts in making sure that on discharge from hospital, patients received a copy of the letter between their hospital consultant and GP, however since last October patients considerable work has taken place in this area.

In January the Trust launched its Kindness and Respect Standards of Behaviour, and associated monthly staff awards. The standards describe the kind of behaviour and attitudes which hospital staff have agreed will be extended to all patients, family members, carers and colleagues and help us improve communication.