Patient satisfaction high during 'very good quarter' for our hospitals

Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, in Cramlington.
Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, in Cramlington.

Work to improve waiting times in A&Es in Northumberland and North Tyneside continues to bear fruit, health bosses have said.

An update on patient-experience data at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s latest board meeting was summarised as a ‘very good quarter overall’, including improved waiting times at the emergency hospital in Cramlington.

The results for the trust, which runs the hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside, show that 97 per cent of inpatients and patients receiving day-case care and 99 per cent of outpatients would rate their experience as good, very good or excellent.

The ‘recent gains in the emergency-department experience have been maintained going into winter’ with the average score for the trust of 84.4 per cent being almost identical to the previous quarter.

The survey of patients features 27 questions and there are only three where Northumbria Healthcare ranks outside the top 20 per cent of trusts nationally.

However, it is still above the UK average for those three questions – two relating to waiting and one on pain management.

At each board meeting, a patient story is reported and the most recent was from a man who went to A&E at the Northumbria hospital in Cramlington.

‘It is never nice to be in hospital, but it has been a pleasure to come to this hospital for treatment,’ he said.

‘I would recommend this ward and hospital to anyone who needed care and treatment – I know they would be well looked after.’

The trust’s chief experience officer, Annie Laverty, said: “The work we have done to improve waiting in ED (emergency department) in the past year is really, really significant. But waiting is trumped by the quality of the relationships people receive.”

Among the positives on the performance front, there were some concerns about the consistency of care at North Tyneside General Hospital, with Ms Laverty saying that ‘the variance in the sites is something to pay attention to and focus improvement work on’.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service