Putting patients first
All of our performance indicators are important measures of how we are doing as a trust, but amongst the many performance indicators that NHS organisations have to report, I pay particularly close attention to are those that very clearly relate to patient experience.
It is vital that we never stop taking the time to listen to what our patients are telling us about their personal experience of using our services. We can hit every target in the book, but that would never compensate for our patients and their families and carers not feeling as though we are doing everything we can to make their experience with us as good as possible.
At St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we have a dedicated patient experience team that is made up of patient involvement specialists and experienced clinicians who work tirelessly with patients, their carers and families and our services to make sure that we meet their expectations.
The team carries out a vast number of patient surveys, secret shopper tests, and attends countless service user groups to try and pin-point where we can make improvements.
Our patients are already under enough stress, so our patient experience team also work with our estates and facilities and administrative services to try and make sure that there are no unnecessary worries for them when they get to us. Together they work to make sure that the environment is as comfortable and pleasant as it can be and that everything outside of the treatment room runs as smoothly as possible.
The recent national outpatient and inpatient surveys demonstrated that this work is bearing fruit, with a huge improvement in our performance over the last couple of years.
The national staff survey also showed that staff across the trust are embedding the staff values of excellent, kind, responsible and respectful in their every day practice, which I have no doubt is filtering down to our patients.
If you would like to comment on the topic you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.