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This way madness lies

(16 Posts)
M0nica Fri 08-Jan-21 22:56:03

As I have mentioned DH has just spent 8 weeks in hospital: heart attack, bypass surgery, complications, 3 more ops and hurried discharge on Tuesday bcause of COVID

Today he had a text from the hospital asking him to rate his experience of being in the hospital on a scale of 1, excellent to 5 very poor.

The mind boggles.

GrandmaKT Fri 08-Jan-21 23:14:55

Hope your DH is comfortable and making a good recovery MOnica

A couple of years ago I had an accident and attended my local A&E. After discharge I was sent a questionnaire, one of the questions was:
"Would you recommend this A&E to friends and family?" The mind boggles! As opposed to what? No, I would recommend they travel with blood pumping from an artery to another hospital 30 miles away? Or No, I suggest they go to the garden centre???

Chewbacca Fri 08-Jan-21 23:25:14

All NHS Trusts are compelled by law to use the Friends & Family or Patient Experience services for A&E and some other departments in hospitals. It was brought about in the wake of the Mid Staffs Hospital debacle whereby relatives of patients had tried to voice their concerns at the level of care their relatives had recieved but had been ignored, often with terrible results. So Trusts are now compelled to invite a percentage of all patients to give their feedback on the standard of care they've recieved. Where the same negative feedback is given, by several patients, improvements can be made. If they don't ask, they won't know.

M0nica Sat 09-Jan-21 08:35:33

But rating a hospital on a five point scale, tells you absolutely nothing. A properly conducted survey is something very different and I am all in favour of those.

DH's rating of various aspects of his stay in hospital would be very different from aspect to aspect. We could not rate the medical care too highly, but the lack of regular bed baths or other forms of bodily hygiene for patients too ill to wash themselves was poor and caused distress to DH. DH didn't clean his teeth for days on end, despite asking.

How can you take two such disparate ratings for two such disparate aspects of a hospital stay, plus many other aspects, and distil them to one score on one scale and produce any information that is of any use to any one, least of all keeping the management informed of areas of care that may be causing problems for patients.

Jane10 Sat 09-Jan-21 10:19:16

As previously stated if the hospital trusts don't ask they won't know. If you were unhappy then indicate it. You can also contact the complaints department which will follow up. Most people don't bother as they're just glad to be home but it really is worth while. For every person who bothers to actually complain there are many more who feel the same but don't do anything about it.
In our trust complaints were taken very seriously.
The clinical governance department are the people who run the basic questionnaire that you completed. Drawing up a survey that covers all departments with questions that most people actually complete is very difficult. They have to consider so many factors including literacy levels etc that it's a really complex task.
So go via complaints. The director of nursing needs to know that your DHs basic care was not great.

Chewbacca Sat 09-Jan-21 10:26:54

But rating a hospital on a five point scale, tells you absolutely nothing

Monica you're not being asked to rate the hospital. You're being asked to "rate" or give feedback on the care that you received whilst you were there. You're being given the opportunity to say if you were treated with kindness and dignity; were you listened to when you tried to explain your problem; were you kept waiting for an unreasonable length of time..... it's simply an opportunity for you to have a voice. Anything that you give as feedback is followed up on and if you don't feel that your concerns have been listened to, there is always PALS to turn to.

Fennel Sat 09-Jan-21 19:58:57

I missed the news about your husband being in hospital so long Monica.
Take your time - you've got enough to do without worrying about that text. Sounds like it's just routine.

Doodledog Sat 09-Jan-21 20:50:18

I'm sorry to hear about your husband, M0nica.

I'm another who is cynical about surveys like this. For one thing, unless you have experience of other hospitals dealing with the same sort of situation in very similar circumstances, how can you possibly judge?

It is very easy to ask questions like this and know that those who bother to fill them in are often grateful to be home again, or have been kindly treated by a nurse and don't want to 'cause trouble', so the managers can show that patients are satisfied and all is well. The staff on the wards may well disagree, but it is more difficult to separate out the various aspects of the experience, as you say - even more difficult by text than on paper, where at least you have the chance to add something to the end of the page.

You could call the hospital and ask to speak to the Communications team, but in times like these that might seem inappropriate.

M0nica Sun 10-Jan-21 01:37:00

Chewbacca How can one score on just one 5 point scale even begin to give a hospital any information at all about all the myriad aspects that being in hospital entails?

Supposing we asked every one regardless of age condition or anything to rate their experience of online shopping by ticking a 5 point scale, what would that tell us, how could it be used to improve the experience. It couldn't unless you knew what aspects of online shopping they partucularly liked or hated and why.

I am all for good structures surveys that give management useful information they can use, but summarising a major hospital exprience by ticking one point on one 5 point scale, utterly useless and managementshould know better.

There were no issues in DH's stay that we feel strongly enough about to make any kind of complaint, I just think this survey was of no use to anyone.

Chewbacca Sun 10-Jan-21 07:21:43

M0nica I'm sorry that the Patient Experience/Friends & Family service has left you unimpressed. It is designed to give patients an entry level platform to have their voice heard following a visit to hospital, not an in depth review of all hospital services. Although each NHS Trust varies their own particular questions, the generic questions are usually, on a scale of 1 - 5: Were you treated with dignity and respect? Did you feel that you were listened to by hospital staff? Did you feel that the cleanliness of the area that you were in was acceptable? Were the wait times you experienced excessive? Do you feel that we could do anything to improve your experience if you had to stay in hospital again?

These questions simply enable the Trust to see, from the patients point of view, where any of those issues are occurring and are being reported by a number of people, on a number of occasions. They are intended to be broad spectrum questions, not an in depth analysis of their entire hospital stay. Despite your own personal dismissal of the efficacy of the service, they have contributed to the transparency and improvement of services for both in patients, and out patients, and have given them an opportunity to give both positive and negative feedback which every Trust is legally obliged to act upon. You're under no pressure or obligation to give your feedback, either positive or negative; but by not doing so you're not giving the Trust any opportunity to hear what you have to say. It's entirely your choice.

M0nica Sun 10-Jan-21 10:11:23

Chewbacca You are choosing to deliberately misunderstand me. I am not objecting or complaining about properly designed and run surveys.

I worked in Market Research for many years and headed a MR department so I have considerable experience of running all kinds of surveys for all kinds of purposes and I can say with absolute confidence that I would no more be prepared to run a survey on a complex subject that contained one question and five generic answers, than cut my toes off.

One question only, asking someone to summarise something as complex as a hospital stay in one word is totally and completely useless. All it does is enable someone somewhere tick a box.

Nonogran Sun 10-Jan-21 10:39:22

In your shoes with everything going on in your life I'd ignore the survey.
If it doesn't sit easy with you, simply delete it.
Frankly, there's no law says you've got to contribute so just ignore it. Job done! Move on.

GrandmaKT Sun 10-Jan-21 10:52:03

I absolutely agree with MOnica (who is obviously very qualified to talk on the matter).
I certainly had opinions, both positive and negative regarding my visit to A&E, but had no opportunity to give them - just the 5 point scale with meaningless questions such as the one I gave.

Jane10 Sun 10-Jan-21 11:07:42

Well just score 0, give your email address and see what happens.

grannysyb Sun 10-Jan-21 11:28:09

I had a new hip in 2019, and have had several surveys sent to me, I replied to all of them. However they went into much more detail than the one MOnica received, and would have been far more use to the hospital.

Chewbacca Sun 10-Jan-21 13:23:36

M0nica just throw the letter/postcard/email/SMS messaged survey away and don't give it a moment's further thought. There will be no harm done; just a missed opportunity.