A new national survey from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that most patients were pleased with the care they received in hospital but were less confident about the arrangements surrounding hospital discharge and additional support when at home.
Although the survey found that people who stayed as an inpatient in hospital were positive about the doctors and nurses treating them, many – especially those who self-reported as being frail – felt that delays in being discharged and accessing further services was more difficult.
Patients were asked to give their opinion on the care they received, the information they were given, communicating with staff and whether they were given privacy, amongst a number of other issues. This survey has been conducted annually since 2004, with new analysis undertaken in 2019 to develop a better understanding of how frail patients were supported after leaving hospital.
Some of the key findings from the 2019 survey show that most people felt they had been treated with dignity and respect, while 90% said they were always given enough privacy. Responses to questions about cleanliness, food and drink were almost entirely positive, with 97% of respondents saying that their hospital room or ward was “very clean” or “fairly clean”. More than three quarters of people said they were “always” given a choice of food, while 93% said they were given enough to drink.
However, the percentage of people who said they had a long wait before getting a bed increased by 4% from 2018 to 2019. In addition, 41% of people said they were only sometimes able or not able to get help from a staff member. Over a third of patients surveyed also left hospital without printed or written information telling them what they should do.
Responding to these findings Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals said:
“This year’s results indicate that people are facing longer discharge delays and reveal continued concerns around the quality of information provided when they are ready to return home. It is particularly worrying that for people who self-report as being frail, the difficulties in accessing support after leaving hospital were even greater.”
For a full breakdown of the survey and its findings, head over to the CQC website.