Patients continue to report improvements in aspects of care that matter most to them, and 84 per cent of patients rated their experience as excellent or very good, according to the results of the 2011 Patient Experience Outpatient Survey.
The results published today show that more patients are being treated with respect and dignity and felt they were involved in decisions about their care and treatment and in the amount of information given to them about their treatment. The results also highlight areas in need of improvement, such as communicating with patients. Two thirds of patients were not told how long they would have to wait for an appointment and only 65 per cent said they knew what would happen during their appointment.
Key findings for England are that since 2009, more people:
- were seen on time or earlier for their appointment.
- felt that they were treated with respect and dignity.
- felt that their doctor listened to them.
- felt involved in decisions about their care and treatment.
- reported that doctors gave reasons for any treatment or action.
- reported that toilets in outpatient departments were ‘very clean’.
However, the results also show that staff need to improve the way they provide information to patients about:
- how long they have to wait if their appointment is delayed.
- risks and benefits of treatments.
- what happens during treatments.
- why tests are needed.
- test results.
- the purpose of medication and side effects.