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Scottish Inpatient Patient Experience Survey 2012 Volume 1: National results

The Better Together Scottish Patient Experience Inpatient Survey is a postal survey, first conducted in early 2010, with the aim of establishing the experience of a sample of people aged 16 years and over who had a recent overnight hospital stay. The survey covers six specific areas of inpatient experience: admission to hospital; the hospital and ward; care and treatment; hospital staff; arrangements for leaving hospital; and care and support services after leaving hospital.

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4 RESULTS – THE HOSPITAL AND WARD

Summary

4.1 The results for patients' experience of the hospital and ward environment were mixed. Areas where patients were most positive related to cleanliness, while patients tended to be most negative about noise at night, knowing who was in charge of the ward, and food and drink. Overall 80 per cent of patients rated the hospital environment as excellent or good (Chart 3), an increase of one percentage point compared to 2011. More information on these results and other questions relating to the hospital and ward are outlined below.

Chart 3 Overall, how would you rate the hospital environment?

Chart 3 Overall, how would you rate the hospital environment?

The hospital and ward environment

4.2 Patients were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with eight statements about the hospital and ward environment and how much they rated the hospital environment overall. The results are shown in Table 2.

4.3 The percentage of patients answering positively ranged from 54 percent (I was not bothered by noise at night) to 93 per cent (The main ward or room I stayed in was clean).

4.4 There was some improvement in people's experiences of the hospital and ward environment since the 2011 survey. This year slightly more patients indicated that the ward, bathrooms and toilets were clean; they were happy with the food and drink they received; and noise at night was less of a problem.

Table 2 Summary of the results to questions about the hospital environment

Statement or question 2012 Change from 2011 In Positive %
Total base (unweighted) Negative
%
Neither positive nor negative
%
Positive
%
The main ward or room I stayed in was clean. 28,153 3 4 93 +1 significantly better
The bathrooms and toilets were clean. 27,855 6 5 88 +2 significantly better
I was not bothered by noise at night. 25,639 30 17 54 +2 significantly better
I was not bothered by noise during the day. 25,926 13 18 69 +1  
I was happy with the food and drink that I received. 27,566 20 12 68 +1 significantly better
When I called I received assistance within a reasonable time. 26,103 7 7 87 0  
There were times I felt bothered or threatened by other patients or visitors. 26,271 11 6 82 - 1  
I knew who was in charge of the ward. 26,251 26 12 62 + 1  
Overall, how would you rate the hospital environment? 28,172 4 16 80 +1 significantly better

Note: Not all rows add to 100% due to rounding.

Food and drink

4.5 Food and drink play an important part in a patient's recovery and consequently they are subject to national standards for food, fluid and nutritional care in hospitals5. NHS Boards' performance in the provision of food, fluid and nutritional care are assessed based on these standards.

4.6 The inpatient survey asked people about the food and drink they had received while in hospital. Food and drink, similar to noise, is an area where a substantial percentage of patients reported a negative experience (20 per cent were not happy with the food and drink they had received). There was, however, an increase of one percentage point from 67 to 68 per cent in the percentage of patients happy with the food and drink (Table 2). This change was mainly driven by NHS Lanarkshire, which showed an improvement of 7 percentage points.

Noise

4.7 Noise at night can affect a patient's sleep and potentially their period of recovery. This might explain in part why noise at night is an area which patients feel strongly about: 30 per cent felt they were bothered at night during their hospital stay. However there has been an improvement in patients' rating from the previous year, with an increase of two percentage points in the percentage of patients who weren't bothered by noise. There was considerable improvement in NHS Forth Valley (+12 percentage points) which was mainly due to the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital which opened in July 2011 and where fewer patients experienced problems with noise at night. There were also improvements in NHS Lothian (+5 percentage points) and NHS Fife (+7 percentage points).

Knowing who was in charge of the ward

4.8 More than a quarter of patients disagreed that they knew who was in charge of the ward. The Senior Charge Nurse is the staff member in charge of the ward, although it is likely that some patients will have answered that they knew who was in charge of the ward, but thought it was someone else. One of the aims of the Leading Better Care programme6 to be achieved by the end of 2010 was to redefine the role of Senior Charge Nurses. This included making sure that the Senior Charge Nurse is visible and accessible to patients. It appears that patients still find it difficult to identify who is in charge of the ward and additionally the role of the Senior Charge Nurse.

Sharing a room or bay with members of the opposite sex

4.9 In addition to the statements in Table 2 above, patients were asked if they had shared a room or bay with a member of the opposite sex during their most recent stay in hospital. Ten per cent of patients shared a room or bay with a member of the opposite sex, the same as in 2011. Mixed sex wards have been abolished it Scotland with the exception of A&E and intensive care. In the survey 12 per cent of emergency patients reported sharing a room with a member of the opposite sex compared to 7 per cent of waiting list or planned in advance patients. It is worth noting that there are likely to be differences in the perceptions of patients of what constitutes mixed sex accommodation.

Contact

Email: Gregor Boyd

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