Lanarkshire patients are unhappier

Michael Matheson visit
Michael Matheson visit
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A NEW survey, published by the Scottish Government, has reported worrying results for NHS Lanarkshire.

The Scottish Inpatient Patient Experience Survey 2011 asked patients in hospitals across Lanarkshire for their thoughts on a variety of different issues from the standard of food to the amount of time waiting in A & E.

And the results will not make happy viewing for health board bosses.

In Lanarkshire a total of 1,160 surveys were returned, a 46 per cent response rate, across eight NHS hospitals.

This included three large general hospitals, four community hospitals and one other location.

Compared to last year, there were no questions for which patients were significantly more likely to report a positive experience.

In fact, compared to the 2010 figures patients were significantly less likely to report a positive experience in several areas.

Speaking at the health board’s annual review chairman Ken Corsar said: “We are very disappointed with the results of the survey.

“The board have sessions on how we are going to improve and have an action plan in place, which we hope will improve things.

“We will look very seriously, as a full board, on the full patient experience to find out what we can do.”

As for the categories themselves patients were asked if they were told how long they would have to wait in A & E. Forty-four per cent gave the answer yes – a drop of 10 per cent.

Those happy with their admissions into hospital fell from 76 to 72 per cent while those patients who knew who was in charge of the ward dropped four per cent to 57 per cent.

Less than half of those surveyed said that they were happy with the food and drink they received whilst in hospital.

The figure of 48 per cent is another four per cent down on last year’s total.

Speaking at the annual review Rosemary Lyness, Director of Acute Services, said that although they were disappointed with the findings the health board had already begun extensive work in food nutrition and all other aspects of the patients’ dining needs.

She added: “We will be focusing on the quality of the food and the whole dining experience.

“We will work with clinical staff on this issue but it is only one part of the patient experience.”

A total of 69 per cent of patients were happy with the amount of time they had to talk to nurses – down by seven per cent.

There was also a drop of four per cent in the number of people who thought that nurses knew enough about their condition and treatment.

Out of all those questioned 84 per cent thought they had got the best treatment for their condition but despite that high figure it was still a four per cent drop on the 2010 figure.

And again there was a five per cent drop when patients were asked if they were confident of looking after themselves when they left hospital although the figure was once again still a high mark of 84 per cent.