Patients have given high ratings for the care and treatment they receive at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH).
More than 500 people filled in detailed questionnaires about their stay at the hospital as part of a national in-patient survey, carried out last autumn. The results are released today (Weds).
The responses put Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs NDDH, among the best fifth of trusts across the country for 35 out of 57 categories, including:
- Choice of admission dates
- Waiting time for a bed on the ward
- Cleanliness of wards
- Hospital food
- Handwashing by both doctors and nurses, to prevent infection
- All three categories for attitude of doctors
- All three categories for the attitude of nurses
- Level of nursing cover on the wards
- Levels of privacy for examination, treatment and discussion of care
- Amount of information received about medical conditions
- Involvement in decisions on care
- Finding someone to discuss concerns and worries
- Explanation of the risks and benefits from treatment
- Warnings about the possible side-effects and danger signals from medication when leaving hospital
Northern Devon was in the middle 60% of trusts for a further 20 categories, and in the bottom 20% for just two:
- Whether patients were asked to give their views on quality of care while in hospital
- Whether patients saw posters or leaflets about how to make a complaint
Both these issues have since been addressed. A system of feedback leaflets was introduced in January, so every patient – and visitors if they would like – can give their views. The responses are collated, acted upon where suitable, and detailed on each ward.
A new Customer Relations Department has also been set up to handle all complaints and a new leaflet is being distributed across the Trust
Trust Chief Executive Jac Kelly said: “I’d like to thank all the patients who responded to the survey, because this sort of information tells us really important things about how we work and the service we offer. That means we can improve things for the future.
“I’m really pleased that local people have highlighted that our standards are generally high, especially in areas such as handwashing by our clinical staff. To know that we’re doing well in comparison with other trusts around the country is reassuring.
“Now we’ve got to do the hard work – analysing exactly what the survey is telling us and acting on the findings. We’re already tackling the two areas highlighted as poor, but there are always things we can do to improve on every count.”
The full survey results are available from the Healthcare Commission at: http://www.healthcarecommission.org.uk/homepage.cfm