Hospitals’ clean bill of health

A patient and nurse in the Outpatients Department at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital
A patient and nurse in the Outpatients Department at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital

PATIENTS have given Sheffield’s biggest hospitals a clean bill of health - but said waiting times need improving - in a major new survey about care and treatment.

Outpatients at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes the Northern General, Royal Hallamshire and Weston Park hospitals, rated their overall experience as nine out of 10.

Hundreds of visitors to the trust’s outpatient departments were quizzed for the poll, carried out by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission.

Patients scored the trust almost 10 out of 10 for treatment ‘with care and dignity’ while the hospitals also rated well for not changing appointment dates after they had been booked. Participants in the survey gave a score of nine out of 10 when asked if they had confidence and trust in their doctor.

The same verdict was seen when outpatients were asked whether they were given proper instructions for taking medication.

But the hospitals scored lowest on waiting times, with many patients saying they were not told how long they would be delayed if their appointment was late.

Outpatients also rated the trust just four out of 10 for efficiency at providing information, such as letters between hospital doctors and GPs.

Prof Hilary Chapman, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ chief nurse and operating officer, said the good results overall were down to the ‘hard work’ of the city’s medical staff.

“The experience of patients is one of our top priorities therefore their opinions will always remain one of the most important ways by which we measure our performance,” she said.

“These results are a testament to our staff and their continued hard work in providing our patients with a service they expect.”