|Trust reports continuing patient improvements|
|Written by Communication Team|
Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has eliminated the need to queue for parking spaces for patients and visitors as part of a drive to significantly improve patient experience, particularly for patients using outpatient clinics.
Chief Nurse Suzanne Rankin explains more: “Each year we provide nearly 400,000 outpatient appointments across our two hospitals, by far the biggest contact we have with our patients. Making sure our clinics run effectively and that patients receive high quality care and treatment in the right surroundings is at the heart of an extensive improvement programme we are working on this year. We’ve already made huge improvements to our parking facilities, particularly at St Peter’s Hospital, where regular congestion had been a real bone of contention in the past.”
And patients certainly agree. Mrs Harn from Shepperton visiting the hospital on Monday said: “I am a regular visitor to St Peter’s and very pleased that I no longer have to arrive 45 minutes before an appointment in order to get a parking space.”
Mrs Jean Parr of Chertsey said that she “likes the [new] barrier system and there are always empty spaces.”
The Trust also introduced a new telephone reminder system last summer to remind patients about their appointments, which as well as being a convenient service for patients has also significantly reduced the number of missed appointments from around 13% to just 9%.
Suzanne continues: “By reducing the number of missed appointments – which every year costs the Trust hundreds of thousands of pounds – we are able to make our clinics run more efficiently for our patients, reducing waiting times and helping clinics to run on time.
Our improvements are going well but we also know we have more to do. Last year we finished refurbishing our outpatient department at St Peter’s; this year we will see one of our biggest ever capital developments, the £2.5 million refurbishment of our outpatient department at Ashford Hospital. We know this is long overdue, but this programme of work – which will take around 18 months to fully complete – will provide our patients with a brand new, 21st century facility and will completely transform this part of the hospital with the work due to start in May.”
On the publication today (14th February) of last year’s national outpatient survey by the Care Quality Commission, Suzanne adds: “The results of today’s outpatient survey – based on the experience of patients visiting our outpatient departments last May – will serve as a good benchmark to the improvements we are making now, and already shows progress compared to the last survey carried out in 2009.”
Since 2009, the Trust has made significant improvements in 7 areas including the availability of parking spaces, appointment times running well, patients being able to find the department, knowing what would happen during their appointment and the continuity of seeing the same doctor or member of staff.
Individual comments made by patients who completed the questionnaires last summer underline their overall satisfaction in services and the improvements being made by the Trust:
“My treatment probably showed the NHS at its best, most impressed.”
“The staff were very kind, friendly and understanding, explained everything well and were very professional.”
“There are many good things about St Peter’s, mainly the doctors and staff, the hospital cleaner and bright, also the toilet facilities are particularly fresh and clean.”
“The treatment was excellent throughout. I was most impressed with doctors, nurses and admin staff who all worked as a most efficient team.”