Patient poll highlights problem areas

A recent CQC survey on patient experience identifies hospital discharge procedures as a key area of concern.

Health and social care watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has identified patient discharge procedures as an area of concern after a large-scale patient survey found 41% of patients faced delays in being discharged.

The survey, conducted on 62,000 patients staying at least one night in an NHS hospital in England, also found that only half of patients ‘definitely’ felt involved in their discharge procedure, leaving “a large proportion not feeling fully involved” in decisions about their care.

The CQC also suggested that a lack of “information provision” was an issue among patients, with one in five patients reporting feeling they had not been given adequate information on their hospital ward.

There were some improvements compared to last year’s survey, with cleanliness and privacy getting higher marks and a general positivity reported by patients in terms of overall hospital experience. Seventy one percent of patients in the recent survey rated their experience 8/10 or higher, while twenty seven percent opted to award their hospital stay full marks.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said it was “encouraging” to see “areas such as information provision, cleanliness and privacy all performing better than last year”, but cautioned against complacency, urging trusts to use the findings to drive improvements.

“I would like NHS trusts to reflect on their survey results to understand what their patients really think about the care and treatment they provide,” he said.

“This will help them to identify what they need to change.”