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Patients happy with hospitals

16th May 2007

A survey of patients treated in NHS hospitals across England has revealed that nine out of ten are happy with their experiences.

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The Healthcare Commission surveyed 80,000 patients for the study and claimed the result was a “vote of confidence� in state care.

But 25% of patients who responded did say that they were not always treated with the respect they expected and one in 10 were still on mixed wards while others said having a choice of hospital was not as important as cleanliness and hygiene.

Patients in more than 167 acute and specialist NHS trusts in England were involved in the study in 2006.

Most said their ward or room had been clean and 70% said doctors and nurses washed their hands between patients.

But 22% said they were not always treated with dignity and respect and 10% had been in a mixed sex ward or room, despite trusts now being required to provide single-sex hospital wards.

About 20% of patients complained they did not get help with eating when they needed it.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission said: “Patients have the right to expect all hospitals to get the basics right, like offering help with eating and answering calls for assistance.

“It is also clear that for a significant minority of patients, the NHS is performing below standards on segregated accommodation.�

But she added that most patients have consistently rated the overall quality of their care as good or excellent.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said staff should take “great pride from this endorsement� of the care they provide.

 

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