Collecting patient feedback. Credit: Healthwatch Torbay

Medical Matters: Putting patients at the centre of everything we do

Torbay Weekly

Medical Matters – this week, Jacquie Phare, system director for nursing and professional practice, at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, provides an update on a patient feedback survey which sought feedback from local people regarding their experience of health and care services:

In Medical Matters back in March, I had the opportunity to talk about a survey, being conducted by Healthwatch Devon on our behalf, which invited feedback on people’s experiences of the health and care services provided by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

In order to support the people of Torbay and South Devon to live well, we passionately believe the best way to care for people is by focusing on what matters to them, putting them at the centre of everything we do, and integrating services around them.

We want to ensure that the decisions we make about services consider the views of our communities, patients and carers.

Feedback helps inform us about the experiences of people who use our services and enables us to focus on improving our services, as we strive make people’s experiences better whether they are a patient, carer, family member or friend.

We wanted to make sure we heard the voice of local people through the patient experience survey and gather views which identified priorities around improving patient experience.

The survey focused on a number of key areas and we asked the following three questions:

What do you think could improve people’s experience of using our health and care services?

If you shared your experience of health and care with TSDFT how easy was this to do?

We would like to understand the best ways to continue to communicate with patients, their family and carers.

I can now share with you that 114 people kindly completed the survey and they told us:

We could improve patient experience by better information sharing – 69 per cent of respondents – more joined up working between local organisations (63 per cent), ensuring health and social care services are available close to home (59 per cent), recognising and responding to individual needs (55 per cent), and better communication following hospital discharge (54 per cent).

Thirty seven per cent of respondents said providing feedback to our services was ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’, 34 per cent described it as ‘okay’, and 29 per cent  of respondents said it was ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’.

People suggested the best ways to share information with them was through social media (63 per cent), newsletters (60 per cent), and local newspapers (39 per cent).

Thank you to everyone that took the time to share their experience, the information we have gathered from this survey and other feedback is invaluable and is helping us shape our patient and service user experience of health and care services strategy.

In response to the key topics raised in the survey, our future plans include provision of more services close to where people live and also the introduction of a single electronic patient record that will support sharing information seamlessly, while having robust data protection systems and processes.

Last week, we were able to start making changes to policy to begin to bring back volunteers on wards to support us with gathering real time patient experience.

We are also working on all services having a QR code to allow people to feedback, in real time, on the service they have accessed and their experience.

We have also gained an understanding that our communities’ preferred methods of communications are social media and newsletters, and are working towards further developing our social media channels and communications methods that will reach more people.

The full results of the survey are now available and published and can be viewed at Healthwatch.