People’s experience of care is very variable and can be much better
While patients are very happy with some services, surveys tell us that their experience of the NHS is inconsistent and that they do not always receive the care they want.
Patient satisfaction in south east London is generally low compared to national benchmarks. Four of our boroughs scored in the bottom 25% for patient satisfaction in hospital care and three of four trusts were in the bottom 25% for the ‘Friends and Family Test’, which tests whether patients would recommend the trust to friends and family.
Many patients express satisfaction with NHS services and highlight excellent care, but the issue is that patient experience of care is too variable. We need to provide consistent, high quality services for everyone in south east London.
Patients tell us that their care is not joined up between different services
Patients and carers find it frustrating to have to continually provide the same information to different people. It is disappointing that different parts of the NHS do not always communicate effectively with each other or with social services.
Patients with complex conditions are often passed from one service to another while the services do not always communicate with each other. Patients’ treatment is often not joined up. In particular, patients sometimes stay longer in hospital because joined up arrangements for their care in the community on and after discharge have not been put in place.
Examples of the problems that patients have raised with us are:
- Some patients find it difficult to get a GP appointment
- Many people feel that they have not been told or do not have enough information about their condition
- Too often, planned operations are cancelled
- Waiting times for tests and treatment are sometimes far too long; and patients are not always treated with respect and dignity