West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) is performing better than most NHS acute trusts in the country in several areas of care, according to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) latest adult inpatient survey.
The survey, which looks at the experiences of people who stayed at least one night in hospital, asked patients about their experience around aspects of care including admission to hospital; the hospital environment; communication with staff; and care and treatment.
The Trust scored favourably in regard to how patients felt about the length of time they were waiting before admission, with inpatients scoring the Trust markedly higher than in 2020 (8.7/10 – 2021; 7.4/10 – 2020) – ‘better’ than expected when compared to other trusts in the country.
The national survey received responses from, 62,235 patients across 134 acute trusts, including 472 from WSFT. They scored the Trust ‘better’ than expected in the following areas:
- how they felt about the length of waiting list time before admission (8.7/10)
- quality of hospital food (7.7/10)
- help with pain management (9.2/10)
- explanations from staff about how patients might feel after operations or procedures (8.2/10)
- understanding information about what patients should or should not do after leaving hospital (9.2/10).
The Trust scored ‘somewhat better’ than expected for:
- information given to patients about their condition or treatment (9.1/10)
Sue Wilkinson, the executive chief nurse for the Trust, said: “We are pleased with the scores we have achieved as a Trust, showing that patients are seeing the results of our staff’s hard work in continuing to lower waiting lists which were very high due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The survey also shows how we aim to provide patients with clear and concise information about their condition and procedure, which should help alleviate any concerns they may have.
“However, there is always room for improvement. We want to continue to ensure that all patients have the best experience when they access any aspect of our Trust, whether it be in our hospitals or via community services.”
Despite scoring well in some areas, surveyed patients felt certain improvements could make their experience better. For example, noise preventing patients from sleeping at night scored worse than most trusts in the country (4.8/10). Likewise, one of the Trust’s lowest scores was in relation to whether hospital staff explained the reasons for changing wards during the night in a way patients could understand (6.3/10).
Cassia Nice, head of patient experience and engagement, said: “Feedback such as this is hugely important for us to better understand the needs and experiences of our patients and to identify where we need to make improvements.
“Being in hospital can be a very stressful time so the more we can do to ensure a positive patient experience the better. Receiving positive scores shows we are making progress in some areas but there is more we can do. We will be looking specifically at areas where our scores have fallen and using the results to inform the design and development of our proposed new hospital, for example, the layout of wards and bed spaces to improve noise and privacy.”
Patients, families, and carers who wish to share their experiences or raise any concerns can contact the Trust’s patient advice and liaison service (PALS) via PALS@wsh.nhs.uk or by calling 01284 712 555. When compared to the survey conducted in 2020, the Trust has largely stayed the same in terms of results and is performing ‘about the same’ as other trusts.