Fylde hospitals score highly in patient survey

Blackpool Victoria Hospitals A&E department
Blackpool Victoria Hospitals A&E department
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The Fylde coast’s two main hospitals have been praised by patients answering an independent survey.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital scored an average of 4.1 out of five, while Clifton Hospital in St Annes got 4.41, Healthwatch Lancashire said.

Patient experience manager at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Andrew Heath, said: “It is always great to hear when things have gone well and our staff have been praised for being professional, caring, and always smiling.

“The report has been shared with the management team at both sites and an action plan has been drawn up to tackle areas where we can make improvements.”

A number of negative comments were made about waiting times in A&E and other departments at Blackpool Victoria, while the number of people smoking close to the entrance there ‘wasn’t good’, Healthwatch’s report said.

The hospital said smoking is not allowed although enforcing the rule is ‘difficult’.

A number of patients described the service as ‘excellent,’ ‘very good’, and said they ‘couldn’t fault it in any way’.

Others said the hospital was very busy but appreciated that was to be expected, while one said the hospital had improved and was ‘almost unrecognisable’ since last visiting.

At Clifton, patients complained about springs on doors being too loud, toilets being out of order, and the lack of a coffee machine.

The hospital said all defects and maintenance issues are reported by individual departments, and said the doors will be checked.

Positive comments included friendly, smiling staff, a caring service that rivals private healthcare, and smoothly-run appointments.

Senior manager at Healthwatch, Sheralee Turner-Birchall, said: “Patient and relatives’ input can be invaluable as they have an experience staff can’t access.

“Sometimes seeing services from their point of view opens up opportunities for improvement that may not have already been considered.”

The group spoke to 122 people at Blackpool Victoria and 41 people at Clifton as part of its programme of Patient Engagement Day events in hospitals across Lancashire.

Their aim is to listen to people’s experiences and influence service improvement.

Some 16 of these events have taken place across Lancashire since September 2015 with more than 900 people sharing their experiences.