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Patients’ verdict—we’re getting better

26 May 2006

The quality of care at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has significantly improved over the last 12 months according to a major survey of patients published today (Friday May 26).

The quality of care at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has significantly improved over the last 12 months according to a major survey of patients published today (Friday May 26).

The Inpatient Survey for 2005, produced by the independent body which assesses NHS Trusts called the Healthcare Commission, was completed by more than 400 patients treated at Chelsea and Westminster.

The questionnaire included 57 questions which patients scored to identify problems or room for improvements – Chelsea and Westminster was significantly better than the national average on six questions, average in 50 areas and significantly worse than average in only one area.

When compared to the hospital’s performance in the 2004 survey, Chelsea and Westminster scored significantly better on nine questions and significantly worse on none.

Heather Lawrence, Chief Executive of Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The results of this survey are important because they come from the people who really matter – our patients – and I would like to thank our staff for their hard work to improve the care that we provide.

“Important areas where we were significantly better than the national average included our arrangements for discharging patients from hospital, including clear written information about medicines provided by staff working in pharmacy, and the way that doctors ensure our patients and their families have the chance to discuss their condition or treatment with them.

“There is always room for improvement and so we are now breaking down the survey results for every inpatient ward in the hospital so that staff can develop their own local action plans to tackle areas where we could do better.

“We will also use the survey results as the basis for engaging patients and the public in the life of our hospital by taking on board what they have told us and taking positive action to address their concerns.”

The Trust has already taken action to address the one area of the survey in which its performance was worse than the national average – hospital food:

  • Protected mealtimes have been rolled out across the Trust to ensure that patients have the time to enjoy their food and staff have more time to help patients who have difficulty eating
  • A new child-friendly menu has been introduced on our children’s wards and nursing mothers whose babies are being cared for in the hospital are now given food vouchers for three meals a day in the hospital restaurant
  • A new healthy star menu scheme has been introduced in the hospital restaurant which is used by patients, visitors and staff.

Note to editors

For more information about the survey visit: www.healthcarecommission.org.uk.

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