IPA Responses to Headline News
Headline: Irish Patients Association Questions Lack Of Progress At Region’s Main Hospital As 29% Report Poor Experience
IPA Response in Radio Interview:
Stephen McMahon: Ennis performance is a lot better (than UHL), it actually beats the national average of 82% satisfaction levels so obviously what's going on in Ennis, from a point of view from patient experience, is very commendable. The issue really exposed is the fact that in UHL, while 71% say they had a good to very good experience that leaves [sic] 29% or 30% of people that didn't have that experience, and they're (UHL) also saying that overall, the results were similar to 2021. You have to ask the questions like the issues that were arising then; what actions have been taken, and that. They had a score that people would rate their experience: like fair to poor was 0-6; good was a 7-8, and very good 9-10. There was loads of sort of grey areas there that people could [sic] tick to give a nuance on what their experience was. The lowest scoring number was this: 30% of the people of admitted to UHL waited more than 24 hours before admitted to a ward. There’s no new news on that really as we would expect that because in the month of November this year there was nearly 1,600 people on trolleys and wards, that was up 17% on the year before so you would expect that figure to drift out further for people’s experiences.
A number of issues that are very important is that 14% of the people said that they did not have enough time to discuss their care and treatment with the doctor. Now that's a very important aspect of patients to understand - what is actually happening to them and what options they have, and what risks they have. I suppose an area that I could zone in on [sic is quite simply the whole area of discharge of patients, because there were a number of very low scores that would come into the area of ‘fair to poor’. For example, before they left hospital when you’re given written or printed information about what you should or should not do after the leaving the hospital, that really only scored an average of good to fair. Also, did a member of staff tell you about the medication side effects to watch for when you went home. Again, an average of 5.1 in that score. Did a member of start tell you about in danger signals you should watch out for when you go home? They’re the very common sort of things that people are sometimes anxious about when they're going home. What do I need to look out for if I have to go back into the hospital again? It’s not an investment in beds and staff and all that, it's really a question of people asking these questions when they’re discharged - about their medicines, about what to watch out for when they go home…and to ensure that the hospitals are aware of their home situation and planning their discharge. Again, that got a low score, in other words did people have the facilities at home to be safely discharged so they can recuperate and so on. An important one I think, and I’ve heard a number of commentators in the Limerick and Clare areas say this, is that the doctors and nurses give your family or someone close to you all the information they need to help care for you. Again, that got a low score. These are things that can be dealt with pretty straightforwardly by developing the culture of putting the patient at the centre, and their family, and providing this information: Ask them - do you want to know more information about your medicines, or the side effects, or when to take them.
Ask them about what they need to know about going home when they're being discharged, and so on.
If they can do it in a restaurant - how many times during a nice meal that you have someone coming over to you [asking] “is everything okay?” That should be the same in hospital.
Interviewer: Stephen you feel that there should have been more progress - obviously there are well known issues in terms of capacity and in terms of the hospitals, but you feel that there could have been progress between 2021 and 2022 in terms of the other aspects of care?
Stephen McMahon: Exactly, and I mean what we don't want to find is in 2023 that's there again there's been very little movement between the two years because it begs the question what is this information being used for?
I mean patients and their families went to a lot of effort and time to fill in those surveys a) to share their experience but also that the system would improve particularly where they’re highlighting things that need to change.
You know we would really advocate that that this survey should almost be done in real time, in other words, that should be going on going all the time every day, so that when people are being discharged, to get their experience at the time they're leaving. You could do it in the local supermarket around the airport where you hit the little green light, or the red light and it gives a very quick snapshot as to how people feel about things.
Interviewer: Stephen [sic] there were 628 respondents so at 39% participation rate do you think that accurately reflects the experience that patients in general have at the hospital or do you think that the figures we've seen coming out from there would be altered perhaps if there was a wider range of participation?
Stephen McMahon: Well, that’s really a hypothetical question insofar as it's very difficult to establish that.
Obviously would like to see a far higher rate and let me explain. It's our experience with the Irish Patients’ Association that sometimes people have a bad experience, and when they come out and have had their treatments, they just want to put it behind them. They don't want to talk or reflect on it because they just want to get on with living and recovering and so on. If you don't get people closer to when they've had that bad experience and you can actually lose the benefit of learning from that, and that's why we believe that there should be more real time surveys done in the hospital [and] not waiting a year or nine months for a report to be produced for that but actually giving the management feedback almost on a daily basis."
Listen to full interview here [06.05min]: https://soundcloud.com/clarefm/irish-patients-association-questions-lack-of-progress-at-uhl-as-29-report-poor-experience?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
Friday 16 December 2022