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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.

This document is part of a collection


7 RESULTS – LEAVING HOSPITAL

Summary

7.1 Compared to other areas of the survey, the results show that patients are least positive about arrangements for leaving hospital. Overall, 75 per cent of patients rated the arrangements for them leaving hospital as excellent or good (Chart 6). Areas where patients were less positive related to help with transport, danger signals to watch for after leaving hospital and the length of time waiting to go home. More information on these results and other questions relating to the arrangements for leaving hospital are outlined below.

Chart 6 Overall, how would you rate the arrangements made for you leaving hospital?

Chart 6 Overall, how would you rate the arrangements made for you leaving hospital?

Arrangements for leaving hospital

7.2 Timely and appropriate discharge from hospital is an important part of the patient journey. The patient and any carer(s) should be provided with clear information about the discharge process and any follow-up care and support required after leaving hospital.

7.3 Patients were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with seven statements about the arrangements made for them when they left hospital. The results are shown in Table 6.

7.4 The percentage of patients answering positively ranged from 61 per cent (I was given help with arranging transport) to 83 per cent (My family or home situation was taken into account when planning for me leaving hospital).

Table 6 Summary results of questions asked about the arrangements for leaving hospital

Statement or question 2012 Change from 2011 In Positive %
Total Base (unweighted) Negative % Neither positive nor negative % Positive %
My family or home situation was taken into account when planning for me leaving hospital. 23,238 9 8 83 0
I was happy with how long I had to wait around when I was told I could go home. 26,790 18 9 73 0
I was given help with arranging transport. 13,297 25 14 61 - 1
I understood who to contact if I had any questions after leaving hospital. 25,841 14 7 80 0
I was told about any danger signals to watch for when I got home. 23,069 19 10 72 0
I was given advice on how to look after myself. 23,957 13 9 78 0
I was confident that any help I needed had been arranged for when I left hospital. 19,897 14 11 75 0
Overall, how would you rate the arrangements made for you leaving hospital 27,739 7 18 75 0

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

7.5 There were no statistically significant changes from 2011 in how patients rated the various arrangements made for them before they could leave hospital.

Help arranging transport

7.6 Slightly less than half of respondents answered the question about getting help with arranging transport. Many patients will not have answered the question because they did not require help. Of patients that answered the question, 61 per cent agreed that they were given help with arranging transport.

7.7 This suggests that a considerable percentage of patients feel that they require help with arranging transport, but do not receive it. There is variation between NHS Boards with the percentage of patients getting help ranging from 57 to 81 per cent.

Medicines

7.8 Patients were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with four statements about medicines they were given to take when they left hospital (Table 7).

7.9 We introduced a new question in the survey asking if patients had to wait too long to get their medicines. The results showed that this was an issue for patients, with 20 per cent of patients feeling that they had to wait too long for their medicines.

7.10 The percentage of patients answering these questions positively ranged from 73 per cent (I didn't have to wait too long to get my medicines) to 97 per cent (I understood how and when to take my medicines).

7.11 The results for medicines were similar to last year, with a small increase (one percentage point) in the percentage of patients who understood what their medicines were for and those who understood how and when to take them. Results are shown below in Table 7.

Table 7 Summary of the results of questions asked about medication

Statement 2012 Change from 2011 In Positive %
Total Base (unweighted) Negative % Neither positive nor negative % Positive %
I didn't have to wait too long to get my medicines. 20,352 20 8 73 N/A  
I understood what my medicines were for. 20,307 2 3 95 + 1 significantly better
I understood how and when to take my medicines. 20,353 1 2 97 +1 significantly better
I understood the possible side effects and what to do if I had any concerns. 20,11 9 11 80 0  

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

7.12 It is important that patients understand what their medicines are for, how and when to take them, and to understand the possible side effects and know what to do if they have any concerns to reduce adverse events. The Scottish Patient Safety Programme9 aims to help provide safe and effective medicines management.

After leaving hospital - care and support services

7.13 Waiting unnecessarily in hospital when clinically ready to be discharged can result in poorer outcomes for individuals as well as being a waste of healthcare resources. As a result, there is a national NHS Scotland HEAT target by which no patients should be delayed by more than 28 days before being discharged to an appropriate care setting when they were found clinically ready for discharge. Current and future targets for delayed discharges can be found on the Scottish Government website10.

7.14 This year we introduced questions about care and support services that needed to be arranged before patients could leave hospital. This included any equipment needed in their home, home care or personal care, or a place in a care / nursing home.

7.15 Twenty four per cent of patients required care or support services to be arranged after they left hospital. Of these,

  • 82 per cent of patients rated that, overall, the care or support services they received after leaving hospital was excellent or good; 8 per cent rated them as poor or very poor and 10 per cent rated them as fair (Chart 7);
  • 89 per cent felt that they had received the type of care or support services that were right for them;
  • 12 per cent indicated they had to stay in hospital for longer than expected for their care or support services to be organised.

Chart 7 Overall, how would you rate the care or support services you got after leaving hospital?

Chart 7 Overall, how would you rate the care or support services you got after leaving hospital?

Contact

Email: Gregor Boyd

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