A survey has revealed that the vast majority of people attending Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s hospitals to receive urgent care feel they are listened to by doctors and nurses and treated with respect and dignity.
The 2018 Emergency Department Survey, part of the patient survey programme co-ordinated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), asked patients attending emergency departments and minor injury units to answer questions about different aspects of their care and treatment.
Reports are available on the CQC website and show how Hampshire Hospitals’ emergency departments and minor injuries unit scored for each question in the survey compared with the range of results from all other Trusts that took part. For each question, responses are converted into scores on a scale of zero to 10, with higher scores indicating more positive responses.
The emergency departments at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital scored 9.0 out of 10 when patients were asked if they felt they were treated with respect and dignity. The emergency departments also scored 9.0 out of 10 when patients were asked if doctors and nurses listened to what they had to say, while patients rated their overall experience at 8.2 out of 10.
It was a similar story for the minor injuries unit at Andover War Memorial Hospital, which scored 9.4 out of 10 when patients were asked if they felt they were treated with respect and dignity. It also scored 9.4 out of 10 when patients were asked if doctors and nurses listened to what they had to say, while patients rated their overall experience at 8.8 out of 10.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, said: “I’m delighted that our patients feel they are listened to and treated with dignity and respect in our emergency departments and minor injury unit.
“Despite working in a highly pressurised environment, staff in these areas provide the highest levels of care. It is fantastic to know that their dedication and teamwork is making a real difference to our patients.
“We are always striving to improve and will use these survey results alongside other feedback to look at how we can make things even better for our patients in the future.
“One area we are particularly keen to improve is the amount of time that patients spend waiting in our emergency departments. Staff across our hospitals are working hard to reduce the time that people spend in our emergency departments – but we need everyone to help us by making sure that they choose the right NHS service for their needs.
“Our emergency departments have been extremely busy over the last few months, with an unprecedented number of patients needing our help, and we expect to be even busier over the winter months.
“Most of the people visiting our emergency departments need our expert help, but we also see people who could have got the treatment they require somewhere else, such as a chemist or their GP. By using the NHS 111 service to make sure that you are using the correct service for your needs, you could save yourself a trip to our emergency department and help to prevent long waits for other people who do need to be treated by our experts.”
The survey was carried out in September 2018 and a number of improvements have been made to improve urgent care across the Trust since then. A new waiting area has been built at Winchester hospital, while the emergency departments at both Basingstoke and Winchester now boast dedicated areas for children and special areas that ensure patients coming in by ambulance are assessed as quickly as possible.
Elsewhere in the hospitals, new units have been created that mean patients with some complaints can be treated away from the emergency departments, giving them faster access to the specialist care that they need.