Suffolk: Patients give hospitals top marks for A&E and inpatient care – new Friends and Family Test results published

Ipswich Hospital's emergency department

Ipswich Hospital's emergency department - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Hospital’s under pressure A&E department has been given a boost as new figures reveal it has ranked third in the region for patient satisfaction.

The first set of data from the Government’s Family and Friends Test was published yesterday after the survey was launched in April.

Across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department ranked third of 13 hospitals, with 80% of patients answering “yes” to the single question survey which asks patients whether they would recommend the service they received to friends and family in need of similar treatment.

And in the inpatient care category, West Suffolk Hospital ranked second of 14 hospitals, with 86% of patients happy to recommend the trust to their nearest and dearest.

Meanwhile in both categories Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, under investigation recently for high mortality rates, ranked fourth with 81% of inpatients and 73% of A&E patients happy to recommend the service.


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Bottom in the four counties for inpatient satisfaction was the region’s largest teaching hospital, Addenbrooke’s, which scored 56%, while for A&E satisfaction, Mid Essex Hospital Trust came bottom with a score of 10%.

The survey covers around 4,500 NHS wards and 144 A&E services.

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Dr Lynne Wigens, director of nursing and quality at Ipswich Hospital, said: “We are pleased to be taking part in this national scheme which provides us with valuable feedback from patients helping us to make improvements and enhance patient and carer experience.

“Our aim is to put patients and carers at the heart of what we do and to increase the number who feel they would be ‘extremely likely’ to recommend our services to their friends and family.

“The scores for June have increased over the first quarter. Our inpatients score of 81.7 is the second highest since data collection started. The outpatients score of 76.63 and emergency department score of 76.9 are the highest scores attained since data collection began.”

Jan Bloomfield, executive director of workforce and communications at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Listening to our patients is of paramount importance to West Suffolk Hospital and we welcome the feedback provided by the friends and family test.

“We strive to offer high quality services while ensuring all of our patients have the best possible experience when using the hospital.

“We will use this data alongside the results of other national surveys and the feedback we collect internally to highlight areas where we are performing well and those where we could improve still further.”

Dr Gordon Coutts, chief executive at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, welcomed the figures.

“These results are consistent with what our patients have been telling us,” he said.

“However, we will not be satisfied until every patient feels happy with the care they receive in our hospitals.

“We will study the results in detail to identify areas where we can make further improvements. People can be assured that the Trust and its staff will continue to put patients, their safety and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.”

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