Patients Rate Local Hospital Trust Worst In Country

Healthcare Commission publishes patients’ survey results

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Patient and Public Involvement Forum

More patients are rating the care provided by NHS hospitals as “excellent”, according to a survey published today (Wednesday 14th May) by the Healthcare Commission however; it also showed one local hospital to have the worst rating in the country.

Ealing Hospital came bottom of the table in the largest survey of patients staying overnight in English NHS hospitals. Other local hospital trusts including West Middlesex, Hammersmith Hospitals and Chelsea & Westminster fared better all ranking around the middle of the table.

The Commission noted ‘striking variations’ in the responses of patients at different NHS trusts, suggesting that some trusts must take more action if they are to achieve the standards of the best. For example, 77 percent of patients rated their care as “excellent” in the best performing trust, but only 24 percent in the lowest performing ie. Ealing.

The survey, coordinated for the Commission by the Picker Institute, considered responses from just under 76,000 recent adult inpatients at 165 hospital trusts in England. The Commission says the results will help trusts to understand the views of their patients and respond to any concerns.

It expects NHS trusts to use the results to improve standards of care. It will also use the survey results in its assessments of NHS services, which include the annual NHS performance ratings. Anna Walker, the Commission's Chief Executive, said: "The government has made absolutely plain that it wants the NHS to listen to the views of patients and respond to their concerns. That is why this survey is so important. It gives the most comprehensive picture available of how patients feel about NHS hospitals. And importantly, it allows comparisons between trusts across the country.

"Overall, it's encouraging that a steadily increasing percentage of patients say care is “excellent”. It’s good to see advances on issues like the quality of food, waiting times, and team working between doctors and nurses.

"But the survey also shows that in some hospitals the NHS is struggling to deliver on some of the basics of hospital care. There are striking variations in performance in key areas such as providing single-sex accommodation and giving people help when they need it. Those performing poorly must learn from those who perform well.

'It's crucial that trusts take this information on board. The patient voice must be heard loudly on the boards of trusts across the country. Our annual assessment takes account of patients’ views to ensure this occurs.”

The Healthcare Commission's annual survey asked 76,000 adult patients "Overall, how would you rate the care you received?" The results are out of 100, a high score means that, in comparison with other trusts, respondents rated their care highly. The results for local health trusts are:

Health Trust

Score (out of 100)

Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust
Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust
West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
Ealing Hospital NHS Trust

For those who wish to find out more about the survey see Healthcare Commission Survey

May 14, 2008