Trust rated among best in the country for communication with patients

Dr Thom Daniels in clinic

Southampton’s teaching hospitals have been rated among the best in the country for communication between staff and patients.

The national outpatient department survey 2011, published today (Tuesday) by the Care Quality Commission, placed University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust in the better than other trusts category for informing patients of what to expect before an appointment.

And the report, which questioned patients on everything from interaction with staff and waiting times, to privacy and dignity and facilities in outpatient departments, rated the Trust among the highest scoring 20% of hospital trusts in the country for doctors’ explanations of treatment (9.1/10) and risks and benefits (8.4) at Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals.

There were also high scores for awareness of patients’ medical history (9.2) and effectively explaining the reasons for a change in medication (9.2), while patients recorded positive ratings for overall care (8.5) and respect and dignity (9.6) during outpatient appointments.

However, despite an 8% improvement since 2009, the Trust was placed in the lowest 20% of hospital trusts for flexibility and choice of appointment times.

“We are extremely pleased patients have rated us highly – particularly in the area of communication – in this report as, with 420,000 outpatient clinic appointments a year, it is crucial we strive for the same high standards patients would expect from us if coming in for urgent or routine surgery,” said Julia Barton, associate director of nursing and patient experience at UHS.

“It is a great reflection of the hard work, passion and enthusiasm of all our staff that patients are increasingly positive about their visits to us, but the survey has also highlighted areas we can improve on, such as flexibility of appointments, and that gives us the focus to continue driving forward.”

Posted on Tuesday 14 February 2012