• 17 November 2021
  • 4 min read

Will Patient Satisfaction Be Enough To Protect The NHS Against Demands For Fundamental Reform?

  • Matt Farrah
    CEO & Co-Founder
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
  • 1
  • 204
Will Patient Satisfaction Be Enough To Protect The NHS Against Demands For Fundamental Reform?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently published data showing that a majority of patients (75%) rated their overall experience of hospital care at 8 out of 10 or higher. Of those patients, 40% gave a rating of ‘10 out of 10’.

The adult inpatient survey for 2021 recorded the views of over 73,000 people who had spent at least one night in acute and specialist NHS hospitals in England during late 2020.

Patient experiences were for the most part, positive. 85% of patients felt they were treated in a respectful and dignified manner.

A majority of patients also expressed confidence and trust in the doctors and nurses treating them.

Will demands to reform the NHS be quieted by high patient satisfaction levels, or will increased costs on taxpayers and patient backlogs, alongside the usual winter crises reinforce the case for fundamental change in how the NHS is structured and paid for?

The survey did highlight some key areas for improvement however, mainly related to patient discharge from hospital.

These include a lack of information for patients when leaving hospital (30% of respondents), a lack of involvement and consultation for patients during discharge (23%), and no involvement of a patient’s family or consideration given to their home situation (21%).

Also, having left hospital, over a fifth of people said support to assist their recovery or manage their condition from health and social care services was insufficient.

Given the well-known issues of coordination between health and social care, should the government be analysing other health and social care systems around the world to see how they can improve services domestically?

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What do YOU think?

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Professor Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals for the CQC acknowledged the positive feedback, but recognized that more could be done for patients.

He said: “Patient feedback is incredibly important in helping shape how care is delivered and the survey results provide an incredibly useful guide to where improvements can be made…As pressures on services and staff continue to mount, ensuring the best possible experience throughout the entirety of the patient journey is a task that needs input from all parts of the health and care system.”

To what extent do you expect the patient backlog, which will in all likelihood grow, to side-line any efforts to reform and improve NHS services?

And, in the absence of meaningful reform, do you think that the increases in funding recently awarded to the NHS will translate into tangible improvements to the services provided?

Whilst the CQC survey showed high patient trust in hospital nurses, it also highlighted concerns about shortages.

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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Nearly 40% of patients claimed that not enough nurses were available to care for them in hospital all the time.

This claim corroborates results from a recent survey conducted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) of over 30,000 frontline nurses. This survey recorded that “insufficient staffing impacted 56% of hospital nurses personally, restricting their right to take a break for food, water, and the toilet”.

Do you think that the shortages of nurses can be remedied without systemic change to how nurses are trained, in terms of funding and the availability of training places, and how they are employed, in terms of pay and benefits, their work/life balance and opportunities for professional development?

Almost all respondents to the RCN survey stated they had worked extra unplanned and unpaid time, typically in addition to a regular 12-hour shift, and that this had “negatively impacted their physical and emotional wellbeing”.

Given that any serious program of reform for the NHS will be institutionally painful, how much weight should be given to subjective patient satisfaction versus objective costs and quantifiable healthcare outcomes?

Please let us know what you think in the comments, and Like the article if you found it interesting.

Thanks.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    CEO & Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    CEO & Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    CEO & Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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    • Reka Tapster 10 days ago
      Reka Tapster
    • Reka Tapster
      10 days ago

      All the media coverage of waiting lists, unmet targets etc is aimed at laying the foundation for the Tory Government's ... read more

      • Thanks Reka. Yes, this is a view that many others share too.

        Replied by: Matt Farrah