Fife patients less positive about hospital stays
Dunfermline's Queen Margaret Hospital.
FIFE was the only area in Scotland where NHS patients were less positive about their hospital stay than the previous year.
A survey of inpatients' experiences was published by Scotland's chief statistician and showed, nationally, a slight improvement from the study in 2011.
However, NHS Fife was the only board where patients had "slightly" less positive experiences than the year before.
The survey comes in the wake of figures released last month that showed hundreds of sick and injured people waited 12 hours or more to even be seen in Fife's hospitals in the past year.
Surveys were sent at the start of the year to 2399 people who stayed overnight in an NHS Fife hospital between October 2010 and September 2011.
They were asked about admission, the hospital ward and environment, care and treatment, staff, leaving hospital, care after leaving hospital and medicines.
The biggest percentage of negative responses were received in answer to: 'In the A&E department, I was told how long I would have to wait'.
Patients were also less positive about noise at night, knowing who was in charge of the ward, help with eating and drinking when needed and being given help with arranging transport.
The most positive responses related to information about what would happen when they came to hospital, privacy when being examined or treated, doctors introducing themselves to the patient, understanding what the medicines given out were for and when to take them - all above 90 per cent.
The survey follows last month's figures that revealed out of almost 900 patients in Scotland who waited for 12 hours or more to be seen in A&E departments, 476 were in either the Queen Margaret or Victoria hospitals.
The target for Scottish health boards is for 98 per cent of patients to be treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.
The figures include the period in January when A&E services transferred from the Dunfermline hospital to Kirkcaldy.
A report to last week's health and social care partnership meeting said that a government-led emergency access support team had visited the Victoria at the end of February/beginning of March.
The report said, "The diagnostic visits concluded that current performance represented poor patient flow through hospital wards and that, for a number of reasons, we were unable to always get patients to the right care setting and teams for the care and treatment they require.
"This was particularly evident in our ability to deliver the target for patients waiting in A&E which is a maximum of four hours."
NHS Fife said a new programme had been developed to achieve the four-hour standard and new workstreams were being implemented to optimise patient flow.
Board member John Winton said, "It was very bad. Before Christmas the Queen Margaret was the worst in Scotland for meeting the four-hour target and after Christmas it was the Victoria.
"They've got it under control now, to a point, and in July they met the 98 per cent target although it may be there are less emergencies in the summer."
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 04 Sep 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 5, 18:38
The problem with A&E tends to be that those attending should actually be attending their GP. I overheard a conversation yesterday where people were stating that they just went up to A&E when they needed to see a doctor because they didn't want to wait for a GP appointment. Now how is this fair for those who actually have proper accidents and emergency situations needing to use A&E? Or for the staff who have to deal with the influx of people that the department is not really for? Surely your back pain lasting 6 weeks with no increase in pain could be seen by your GP? Or the small cut by a kitchen knife that has now stopped needing could just have a plaster from Asda? The people attending should have a serious think before going to A&E about what their problem is and could it wait until the next available GP appointment. This will help patient flow, bed wait times and waiting times in A&E. People need to take responsibility for themselves.
Recommend? Yes 20 No 0
Sep 6, 14:00
Firstly I'd just like to agree with banana84 - what a well thought out and logical post. People turn up at A&E for all kinds of meaningless ailments which causes an excessive waiting time for those in real need of care. The other problem, in my opinion, was the closing of A&E at Queen Margaret Hospital. Regardless of how well run, or equipped, the new Victoria hospital is in Kirkcaldy, it can never handle the amount of people it is now forced to see. It is now having to take at least double the amount of patients it was previously. What was the logic behind this decision? Surely the better idea would be to keep both A&E departments open and thus an equal share of patients arriving at each.
Recommend? Yes 14 No 0
Sep 8, 08:15