Thumbs up for hospital care

Ninety-three per cent of young hospital patients rate the care
they receive as good, very good or excellent, but there is still
scope for improvement, according to a survey by the Healthcare

Just under half the young patients surveyed had an operation or
procedure during their stay and more than two thirds said the
surgeon or doctor had explained how it went in a way that they

However, 11 per cent reported that the outcome of the operation
was not explained. One commented: “We saw no doctor after the
operation. I had to ask a nurse how it went – nobody bothered
to come and explain anything to us.”

The Commission’s chair, Sir Ian Kennedy, said:
“While there has been a great improvement in communication
between NHS staff and their patients there is still much to be done
to ensure that patients understand the information they are given
and can influence decisions.”

Food was a “source of considerable criticism” from
all ages, with only 38 per cent reporting that it was good. One
respondent said that “there was only white bread, minimal
vegetables and fruit and too much kid’s junk food like
nuggets and waffles.”

Just under two thirds of young patients who needed help from
hospital staff to use the bathroom or toilet said they received it
in time, but 12 per cent said they did not. Almost a fifth of those
who required help with eating meals did not get the help they

Parents and children reported high levels of confidence in
staff, and wards were generally regarded as safe. However, there
was considerable variation between trusts in the quality of
facilities they offer parents.

More than 62,000 young people and their parents were involved in
the survey, which was carried out in 150 NHS acute and specialist

Patient survey report 2004 – young patients

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