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Right Arrow Trust’s Accident and Emergency Department among the best in the country - PR/54/0405
21 February 2005 at 14:57
According to a recent survey of patients using Accident and Emergency services throughout the country, Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is among the best in the country in three categories as it scored the highest mark. Patients were asked to answer 36 questions about their experience in the Accident and Emergency departments at both Southport & Formby DGH and Ormskirk DGH. The Trust was in the top 20 per cent of scores in 29 of the 36 questions.

The three questions that achieved the highest score in the Accident & Emergency survey were:
“Were you given enough privacy when discussing your condition or treatment?”
“If you needed attention, were you able to get a member of staff to help you?”
“Did you feel bothered or threatened by other patients?”

“The greatest satisfaction in these results is in the improvement we have made since the last survey in 2003,” said Janette Brookes, Director of Specialist and Emergency Services. “Then we were in the top 20 per cent in only 6 out of 34 categories. It shows that all the hard work that all the staff who work in A&E have put in is paying off. However, we cannot afford to become complacent and appreciate there are still areas where we can improve. ”

Other questions in the survey covered the arrival at the department; waiting times; the doctors and nurses; care and treatment; tests; pain management; the hospital environment and facilities and leaving the department. Respondents were then asked to rate the department overall.

Of those who responded, 88% said they felt they were treated with respect and dignity while in the Accident & Emergency Department at all times (up 7% on last time). Asked how they rated the care they received, 82% said it was either excellent or very good (up 12.7% on last time) and 77% said that the main reason they went to A&E was dealt with to their complete satisfaction. Another area of improvement was in waiting times. This year 84% of respondents said they were seen within an hour of arrival compared to 67.1% from the last survey, and 30% of respondents were discharged within an hour compared to 18.2% last time.

In a survey of Outpatient services carried out at the same time, the results also showed an improvement on the last survey carried out in 2003. The Trust was in the top 20 per cent in 13 out of 41 categories and within 2 marks of the top 20 per cent in a further 13 categories.

Allan Stephenson, Director of Planned Services said “We are pleased with the improvement in these results, as in 2003 we were in the top 20 per cent in only 7 of 35 categories. Since the survey was carried out last year, we have restructured our outpatient services and we are constantly looking at ways we can improve our services. This survey will help us a great deal in this, as we can now see where we are not coming up to patients expectations and can work to improve in these areas.”

Areas where the Trust scored well in the outpatients survey include the time given by doctors to each patient; the clarity of the information given by doctors; the privacy afforded to patients to discuss their condition or to be examined; and that the majority of patients felt the main reason they went to the outpatients was dealt with to their satisfaction. Also, patients felt the environment and facilities were clean and easy to use.

The areas where we would want to improve include the time patients have to wait to get an appointment – although this currently meets all the Government’s targets, whether they are given a choice of times and the time waiting to see the doctor on arrival, although patients report they were told why they had to wait.

Notes to Editors
1. The surveys involved 153 acute and specialist NHS trusts and responses were received from more than 140,000 patients. Around 800 patients of the Trust responded to the questionnaires, which were sent out in the autumn of 2004.

2. Full results of the survey can be found at

Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714