Patients’ ward views trigger changes

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BOSSES at two Yorkshire hospitals say they have made changes to services in the wake of feedback from patients using a new questionnaire.

The NHS Friends and Family Test has been hailed by the Government as key to improving care by giving patients a chance to rate local services.

Officials at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham say comments made among 34,000 responses since 
the initiative was launched last March have already triggered changes.

Lorry delivery times have been changed at Castle Hill after complaints by a patient on ward 26 about overnight noise, while a special sister’s surgery has been introduced on ward nine at the infirmary to help patients and their relatives better understand care plans and discharge arrangements.

On ward 110 at the infirmary, daily nutritional assessments are being carried out to tackle any problems of malnutrition.

Rachael Pearce, friends and family test project manager at the trust, said it was consistently being handed high satisfaction scores from patients whose opinions were being used to make improvements and “deliver a better quality of care all round”.

“Unlike many other trusts, we regularly seek comments from maternity service users, outpatients and those under the care of a consultant as well as those spending time on our wards, and what’s amazing is just how many nuggets of valuable information patients share with us – thoughts and issues which we as hospital staff may not necessarily consider, but which can be very important to people who are lying ill in a hospital bed,” she said.

“I meet regularly with each ward and department to go through their individual feedback, and there are loads of examples of where our doctors and nurses are already taking the comments people provide and changing things for the benefit of future patients.”