NHS Trust apologises over A&E department care standards
Surrey and Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust (Sash) has apologised to its patients after scoring ‘worse’ than other trusts in England for the care it provides in its A&E department, according to a patient survey.
The results were published by health watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) in its fourth national accident and emergency survey earlier this month, where trusts were given a score out of 10 in eight categories for patients experiences in A&E. The survey asked 315 people for their views about the trust’s performance when they visited in March last year, and then compared their answers to responses from patients in 147 other trusts throughout the country. The CQC graded the trust as ‘worse’ in seven of the categories, because it scored less than the ‘average score’ given to other trusts by patients. The results showed the trust fell below this national average but were judged ‘about the same’ in one category.
The trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital, scored 2.7 out of 10 for informing patients how long they would have to wait to be examined, and 5.3 for patients not having to wait a long time before first being examined in Accident and Emergency. The survey showed the trust scored 6.6 out of 10 for pain control and 6.7 for patients getting help when needed during their time in A&E. The trust scored 7.6 for people feeling they had enough time to discuss medical problems with a doctor or nurse and 7.2 for doctors and nurses explaining their condition and treatment in a way they could understand.
Patients said they felt ambulance staff and A&E staff worked well together and were impressed with how secure they felt giving the trust 9.4 out of 10 for not feeling threatened by other patients or visitors. But only 5.2 for access to food and drink while in A&E. They gave the trust 8 for being treated with respect and dignity. Overall the trust achieved 6.9 out of 10 for patients feeling their experience in A&E was good.
The trust’s chief executive, Michael Wilson said the results were ‘deeply disappointing.’ He said: “These results are not a surprise to us. They reflect the difficult conditions our emergency department staff were working in at that time, and the impact of this on patients. We did our own survey during this period and our patients told us the department was too small, too cramped and the close proximity of other patients compromised their dignity and privacy. We listened to these comments and quickly acted upon the findings. We are committed to providing excellent emergency care and we have made huge levels of investment in both front line staff and the building itself.”
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