A Care Quality Commission survey of Mayday Hospital in-patients has forced the hospital management to admit, “the findings show our overall experience of care needs to improve”.
The CQC survey identified Croydon’s largest NHS hospital as “much worse than expected” when assessing patients’ overall experiences.
The survey was conducted in JUly 2018 (therefore before the new £21million A&E department was functioning), and involved getting more than 300 patients who were staying one night or more in the hospital’s care to complete a lengthy questionnaire.
The findings show that the patients retain trust and confidence in the doctors and nurses caring for them, but otherwise have multiple short-comings in many other areas.
Out of 63 questions, the Croydon survey results were worse than other hospitals in 37 instances.
Elaine Clancy, who took up her role last month as joint chief nurse at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group, said today, “The latest results show that the experience of care that our patients get needs to drastically improve.”
The CQC survey found that Mayday patients gave lower scores in areas including good communication from staff and smooth discharging.
The lack of clarity in communications between staff and patients over discharge times was a recurring, low-scoring theme in the CQC survey. Patients said they wanted to be more involved in decisions about their discharge from hospital, scoring 5.9/10, and they would like better notice about when discharge will occur, scoring 6.3/10.
“In particular,” the CQC report states, they “would like to be informed about any signals to look out for after they return home, scoring 4.4/10”.
Patients who responded to the survey also felt that they had to wait a long time to get a hospital bed on a ward (6.2/10), and whether hospital wards or rooms were clean scored 8.0/10.
When asked for their opinion on whether there were enough nurses on duty to care for them, patients scored the hospital 6.3/10.
Since the survey was taken 11 months ago, the Trust’s Reablement Service, which supports discharge, was rated “Good” by the CQC last October.
The Trust has also exceeded the national average in three of the four key NHS performance indicators (six-week referrals, 18-week referrals and 62-day referral for cancer treatment).
The Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, in a briefing document issued this morning and seen by Inside Croydon, told Town Hall officials, “With a new chief nurse in post (appointed May 2019) alongside the Trust’s medical director we are completely overhauling our quality improvement plan – backed by a proven quality improvement methodology. Two central themes in this include increasing our support to staff to deliver the best possible care consistently, and engaging more with our patients to truly understand what their experience of care is and to make real and lasting changes.”
The CQC survey did get a 7.3/10 result for “overall a very good experience” of care at Mayday, and “Patients felt that the people involved in their care had a good knowledge of their medical condition and that they received consistent information, even if they were talking to different clinicians.”
Oh, and as they grasped at straws (hopefully not single-use plastic drinking ones), they also highlighted, “patients were pleased with the choice of food and having enough to drink while in hospital, scoring 8.3/10 and 9.0/10 respectively”. Which is nice.
Yet even among what the Croydon Trust put out as a “positive” from the CQC report, there was a barbed sting in the tale: “Patients scored us 8.2/10 for treating them with respect and dignity, although this was behind the national average.” Some might suggest that in this category, only 10/10 would be adequate.
And while Clancy has been in her new job for barely a month, her previous role was as the director of quality and governance at Croydon CCG, so she will have borne some responsibility for the CQC survey results there.
Today, she said, “We’re incredibly proud that patients reported high levels of trust and confidence in our doctors and nurses caring for them. Our clinical outcomes are good – we have had fewer cases of C.diff, below the national limit, for three years in a row and better than average mortality rates – but the latest results show that the experience of care that our patients get needs to drastically improve.
“I know that I am backed by the many dedicated and very caring staff we have in Croydon. Since the survey was taken 11 months ago we have made headway in many areas, including discharging patients which was highlighted in the report.
“We are overhauling our quality improvement plan, drawing from best practice elsewhere, and a big part of this is increasing our support to staff to ensure every patient gets the best care possible. This includes involving patients more in decisions about their care, catering for their emotional needs and making sure their families and loved ones are kept informed.”
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