Outpatients survey on Norwich hospital

Outpatients at Norwich's main hospital say they are given a good choice of appointment times and are involved in decisions about their care, according to the results of a survey.

The national survey of NHS outpatients was carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year and scores for patients' satisfaction with their visit were 9.1 out of 10 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and 8.8 at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.

Respect and dignity scores were 9.6 for the N&N and 9.3 for the James Paget, while overall standard of care was rated at 8.7 and 8.5 respectively.

The N&N's results were better than average for its good choice of appointment times, for patients being involved in decisions about their care and for avoiding confusion, for example being told one thing by a member of staff and something quite different from another.

It also scored better than average on various aspects relating to leaving outpatients and information about medication.

Nick Coveney, N&N director of nursing, said: 'We scored well in most areas and very highly in terms of overall impression. With regard to waiting from appointment time to being seen, our score has improved and we are working hard to reduce waits further and to keep patients informed while they are in clinic. We have also launched our own new-style patient experience survey to look in more detail at our patients' experiences. A team of 24 hospital volunteers has been trained to use new electronic devices which will hold the questionnaire and responses. The feedback will cover both in-patients and those attending out-patient appointments and will make it easier for us to identify areas for further improvement.'

James Paget chief executive Wendy Slaney said: 'It's important to learn from our patients and that is why these surveys are so important. For example, this year's survey does show that we need to improve on communications with patients about how long they might have to wait in clinic.'

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The full results for each hospital can be viewed at the CQC website at www.cqc.org.uk.

Do you have a health story? Call reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk