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Survey reveals improvement in patient experience at UHMBT Emergency Departments

15 September 2021

  • Quality and safety
  • Furness General Hospital
  • Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Patient experience at Emergency Departments run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust improved in 2020, according to a newly-published survey.

People who were treated at Emergency Departments at Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital were asked for their feedback as part of the national Urgent and Emergency Care Survey 2020.

Each of the 38 patient experience questions was scored on a scale from 0 to 10. Overall, the trust received a score of 8.6 for the statement ‘Overall I had a very good experience’ - an improvement from 8.2 in 2018.

The trust’s results were better than most trusts in England for nine questions. 

Highlights included:

  • A score of 9.1 for the question ‘Did a member of staff explain why you needed test(s) in a way you could understand?’
  • A score of 9.4 for the question ‘Did a member of staff explain the results of the tests in a way you could understand?’
  • A score of 9.2 for the question ‘Did hospital staff discuss with you whether you may need further health or social care services after leaving A&E?’

The trust’s results were about the same as other trusts for 29 questions, and there were no questions where UHMBT was worse than most trusts.

The Urgent and Emergency Care Survey is run on behalf of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) every two years and all eligible organisations in England are required to take part.

The 2020 survey was conducted last September, and 308 responses were received from UHMBT patients.

Following its recent inspection of UHMBT, the CQC rated Urgent and Emergency Services at UHMBT as ‘Requires Improvement.’ Among their findings, CQC inspectors noted that the service was not meeting national standards to admit, treat, transfer or discharge patients within four hours.

UHMBT Clinical Director for Medicine Dr Andrew Higham said: “Responses we received to the survey demonstrate the caring attitude of our Emergency Department colleagues.

“Even during the extremely challenging period we have been through, our teams have continued to respond empathetically to our patients, anticipating their concerns and questions and responding to their needs.

“This survey shows the excellent work our Emergency Departments are doing to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible when using the service.

“However, despite the positive feedback we have received from patients in this survey, we recognise the need to improve following our recent CQC inspection, and are working hard to address the issues raised by the inspectors.”

UHMBT Medical Director Dr Shahedal Bari said: “It is pleasing to see such a positive response from patients to the experience they have had in our Emergency Departments.

“The nature of working in an Emergency Department is that patients attend at a time of stress and worry, and these survey responses show that our teams are good at putting people at ease with compassion and offering the reassurance and information they need.

“Our teams will use this feedback to ensure positive contributions to patient experience are understood and maintained, and areas for improvement are identified and implemented.

“We are committed to making improvements to the service that we offer our communities following the CQC inspection report, and hope that changes we are making – including working to meet the national standard to see, treat, admit or discharge patient from A&E within four hours - will lead to further improvements in patient experience and better clinical outcome.''

A separate survey was conducted among attendees of the trust’s Urgent Care Centres.

UHMBT’s Urgent Care Centres scored better than most Trusts for the question ‘Do you think the staff did everything they could to help control your pain?’ and about the same as other trusts for the remaining questions.

For more information, and to read the survey results in full, visit the CQC website.

A dedicated staff briefing on the survey findings and other work in our Emergency Departments will be scheduled in the near future – more information coming soon.