Patient satisfaction rises at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust despite warning of mounting pressure on NHS

Patients are more satisfied with their care at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust than they were a year ago, despite falling confidence across England.

Doctors have warned of “relentless pressure” building across the NHS, with patient satisfaction falling to its lowest level in eight years.

Each year, the Care Quality Commission asks patients who spent at least one night in hospital about their care.

The most recent results, which cover 2018-19, show patients at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust ranked their experience 82.7 out of 100, compared to 81.8 the previous year.

This bucked the national trend, which saw overall satisfaction drop by one point to 76.2 on average.

More than 76,000 patients across England responded to this year’s survey.

Questions were split into five categories: access and waiting, information and choice, building relationships, safe and high quality coordinated care, and cleanliness, friendliness and comfort.

The Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust saw a drop in the safety and quality category, which covers delays in discharges from hospital, warnings about symptons they may experience after being discharged, and whether they are given consistent information by staff.

Patients gave these aspects a 71.6 out of 100, down slightly from 71.8 the previous year.

Dr Nick Striven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the national results “absolutely reflect the everyday realities” of care in the NHS.

“Despite the often heroic efforts of staff on the ground, the relentless pressures building in the system for years on end are starting to take a toll,” he said.

“This is the result of the massive rise in the number of people coming to our emergency departments, but also the even higher increase in the number of people needing a hospital bed.

“The dissatisfaction expressed might reflect the growing realism amongst the population that the NHS is struggling – and not only in winter – and people are no longer prepared to put up with things that are not good enough.”

Across the country, the CQC found a particular increase in patients reporting lengthy delays, dissatisfaction with the amount of information given to them when leaving hospital, and a feeling of not being involved in their care.

Professor Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals, said: “Most people continue to report positively about their interaction with staff, reflecting the significant efforts of healthcare professionals working tirelessly to meet increasing levels of demand in hospitals across the country.

“However, I am disappointed to see the overall lack of progress this year.

“Last year’s survey showed a healthcare system still delivering improvements despite growing pressure. But this year, the improvement trend we have seen for the past six years has not been sustained.

“Staff are working incredibly hard, but it is clear we have reached a point where this alone is not enough.”

A spokeswoman for NHS England said: “This survey is further evidence that in the vast majority of cases patients are happy with the care they received, but also that the NHS and its local partners need to continue to join up services around the needs of patients, as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.”

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