Patients continue to report improvements in aspects of care that matter most to them, and 84 per cent of patients rated their experience as excellent or very good, according to the results of the 2011 Patient Experience Outpatient Survey.
The 2011 Outpatient Survey was co-ordinated by the Care Quality Commission as part of the ongoing NHS national patient survey programme and follows earlier Outpatient Department surveys conducted in 2002/03, 2004/05 and 2009/10. Fieldwork took place between July and October 2011. The survey involved 163 acute NHS Trusts and had responses from over 72,000 patients aged 16 years or older who attended an outpatient appointment during April and May 2011. This survey was last carried out in 2009.
The results published show that more patients are being treated with respect and dignity and felt they were involved in decisions about their care and treatment and in the amount of information given to them about their treatment.
The results also highlight areas in need of improvement, such as communicating with patients. Two thirds of patients were not told how long they would have to wait for an appointment and only 65 per cent said they knew what would happen during their appointment.
The survey shows that more patients have reported very clean hospital wards, which mirrors falling levels of MRSA bloodstream and Clostridium difficile infections.
More patients are being seen on time for an outpatient appointment and 93 per cent of patients reported waiting less than three months for their first outpatient appointment.
However, fewer patients felt that staff ‘definitely’ explained what would happen during their treatment and what the risks and benefits were. In addition, fewer felt that staff ‘completely’ told them about potential side effects of medication.
Full results of the survey are available on the DH website.
Further information is also available on the Care Quality Commission website.