Patients visiting the Emergency Department at Hereford County Hospital have given it a resounding vote of confidence in an independent survey.
The National Urgent and Emergency Care Survey 2020 was carried out by Patient Perspective on behalf of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in September last year and involved inviting 1,250 patients to give their views on a range of aspects of their care.
The good news is that compared to the previous survey carried out in 2018, the Trust’s average score had gone up, with individual scores putting it in the top 20 per cent of Trusts in a quarter of the questions.
In a number of questions, the Trust improved its results by a significant amount (more than five per cent). These areas include:
Shorter handovers between ambulance crew and ED personnel
- Shorter time waiting to be examined by a nurse or doctor (and being advised if there was a wait)
- Increase in confidence and trust in the doctors and nurses giving treatment
- Ease of getting the attention of a medic or nurse to help when needed
- The way staff managed patient’s pain
- Cleanliness of the Emergency Department
- Advice from ED staff regarding symptoms to look out for after treatment
“We’re really pleased with the results of this survey which evidences a great deal of hard work our staff have put in to improve the way we care for people needing urgent care and treatment,” said Rachel McColm, emergency department consultant.
“What makes it more significant is that the survey took place during the pandemic. Since the survey we have also had a major refurbishment of the Emergency Department which has seen a new children’s unit built within ED, the creation of a Same Day Emergency Care Unit and an area which is used while we quickly assess and carry out tests before deciding on the best place to continue a patient’s care.
“This has improved care further,” she added.
The results of the survey also back the findings of a Care Quality Commission inspection of emergency care at the hospital which took place in December last year.
The results of the unannounced inspection, which were published in February this year, confirmed the inspectors’ views that urgent and emergency services at Hereford County Hospital were rated as “good”.
The inspectors highlighted the fact that level of care remained consistent despite the added pressures caused by the pandemic and they were impressed by the “strong leadership” of the department where staff and managers worked together to ensure high quality care for their patients.
“While the CQC report and the latest survey results are good, we know there is much more we can do to improve the experience of our patients,” added Rich Wells, Acute and Emergency general manager.
“We’re already addressing areas where we didn’t do so well in the survey, including our communication with patients to ensure they understand clearly the treatment we are giving them and why, and giving more information about the tests we need to carry out and making sure patients understand what the results mean.
“But, and I’m sure my thoughts will resonate with many, I am extremely proud of our great team of medics, clinicians and support staff who have given everything during the last 18 months of the pandemic and this report is yet another reflection of their professionalism and dedication,” he added.
The result of the National Urgent and Emergency Care Survey 2020 is published today, Weds, Sept 15 – https://nhssurveys.org/surveys/survey/03-urgent-emergency-care/