Message from Frances Hasler – Healthwatch Camden, Director

Last week I went to an inspiring talk from Annie Laverty, Director of Patient Experience at Northumbria Healthcare, held at UCL Partners.

Northumbria has a research-based approach to collecting and measuring patient experience. Annie has developed systems of collecting patient feedback that includes:

  • doing unannounced visits to every ward every two months to get patient comments on their experience
  • giving ‘real time’ feedback to staff about the results.
  • using the information to produce eye catching posters showing what patients said and what’s been done
  • publishing ‘league tables’ of the most popular consultants in outpatients
  • putting all the data online, so that you can check feedback on each ward online;
  • producing statistical analysis of the data, to satisfy what the doctors said they wanted
  • inviting Age UK and other voluntary groups onto the wards to give feedback;
  • taking films of positive patient stories and uploading them – which is hugely motivating for staff.

 As a result of collecting and acting on patient feedback, all staff are now keenly interested in patients’ experience, and welcome feedback.  The hospital even terminated a parking contract due to repeatedly negative feedback on the parking provider, even though it cost them money!

The most impressive thing for me is the way all the information is easily accessible on the trust website. I’d encourage people to take a look – let us know what you think in the comments box below.

Healthwatch Camden is currently carrying out an audit of what local providers and commissioners do to involve patients and service users – the Northumbria example certainly gives us a yardstick to compare with.