Shropshire hospital 'best in country' for patient experience

Overall patient experience at Shropshire's orthopaedic hospital is the best in the country – according to the findings of a major national report.

Hospital workers, from left: Charles Jaffrey, Becky Edwards, Simran Kaur, Samuel Jones, Faye Merley and Kathy Roberts
Hospital workers, from left: Charles Jaffrey, Becky Edwards, Simran Kaur, Samuel Jones, Faye Merley and Kathy Roberts

The adult inpatient survey is produced annually by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which monitors, regulates and inspects health and social care services in England.

It is based on feedback from almost 73,000 people who had a spell as a hospital inpatient during November last year.

More than 1,200 Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital patients were invited to take part in the survey, and the response rate of 74 per cent was well above the national average of 47 per cent.

RJAH has been named by the CQC as one of just six organisations placed in the top band of trusts delivering results that are considered “much better than expected”, with patient experience that is substantially better than elsewhere.

It is also classed as “much better” in both medical care and surgery.

The hospital, near Oswestry, received responses which were better than most trusts in 43 of the 45 questions included in the survey, which were relevant to its services, and worse than most trusts in none.

In total, 82 per cent of all responses were positive – also a national best figure.

Stacey Keegan, interim chief executive, said: “These are truly remarkable scores, which show the lengths our staff go to deliver outstanding patient care.

“This survey was carried out when we had only just resumed planned surgery again after a pause brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have had to adapt the way we work to ensure we keep patients and staff safe, but we wanted to do that while maintaining outstanding levels of patient care and experience.

"This report suggests we have managed to do that, and it is a testament to our incredible staff. I am very proud of them all.”

The survey asked people to give their opinions on the care they received, including quality of information and communication with staff; whether they were given enough privacy; the amount of support given to help them eat and drink and assist with personal hygiene and on their discharge arrangements.

Highlights include top scoring for overall patient experience with an average mark of 9.54 out of 10.

Staff across the trust were championed by patients responding to the survey.

Its doctors were rated as the best in the country and its nurses also came out on top for inspiring confidence and trust.

The hospital’s wards and rooms are also ranked as the cleanest in the country for the second year in a row, while patients rated its food as the best as well – for the 15th time in the last 16 years.

Visiting restrictions have been in place throughout the pandemic, but RJAH also scored in the top five of all trusts in England for helping patients stay in touch with friends and family.

Sara Ellis-Anderson, interim chief nurse, said: “This survey is a very useful tool for all NHS organisations, as it gives us a strong measure of exactly what our patients think about us.

“It covers everything from the clinical care we provide to how clean the wards are and how good the food is, so it really is a comprehensive analysis of everything we do.

“We will use this report to celebrate our strengths, but also to help shape our areas for improvement so that we can continue to raise the bar and give our patients the experience they deserve every time they come through our doors.”

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