The King’s Fund and Picker Institute Europe analysed inpatient survey data for acute trusts over a nine-year period (from 2005 to 2013). Assessing attitudes towards:
- access and waiting
- information and choice
- relationships and communication
- cleanliness and comfort
- Whilst patient experience over the period reviewed has improved in some areas, that improvement has been modest.
- Improvements have typically been driven by national initiatives and policies to tackle widespread or high-profile problems.
- On average, patients are less satisfied now with some aspects of care (such as length of wait from admission to hospital, to a bed on a ward, and timely discharge from hospital) than they were in 2005. These areas happen to be those where there are well-recognised pressures in the wider health and care system.
- There are still some aspects of patient care where performance is generally low and needs to improve, for example, noise levels at night and timely discharge.
- Areas of care that patients were generally less satisfied with were also those that showed erratic annual changes and exhibited wider variations in performance between trusts.
- Patients’ ratings relating to interactions with staff were generally more positive than for other aspects of care.
- There are significant differences within and between trusts in how they approach patient experience work and how they use the data. In general, specialist trusts performed well, whilst London trusts had some of the lowest scores.
"It is encouraging that patients are reporting improved care experiences in areas such as mixed sex accommodation and in cleanliness. While the results indicate that people’s experiences have been largely positive, overall there has not been much change over the last ten years and there have even been some areas of deterioration, such as with patient flow."
"We are clear that patient feedback should be a key driver for quality improvement in the NHS."
"How providers consider and act on patient feedback, including complaints and survey findings, is a core element of our inspections. Where a provider does not have systems in place to do this effectively, this would make us question the quality of its leadership and how ‘caring’ and ‘responsive’ its care can be."
"We encourage NHS trusts to reflect on their findings to understand what their patients really think about the care and treatment they provide, so that they can identify what is working well and what should change."