Blackpool Teaching Hospitals promise to do better for patients and their families after damning CQC patient survey results

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Blackpool Teaching Hospitals are ‘determined to do better for patients and their families’ after a survey found that patient experience at A&E has worsened significantly last year.

The local NHS trust said they are ‘disappointed’ with the results of the survey, carried out by thee hospital regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

But they added that ‘dedication and commitment to patients remains their priority’.

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The 267 respondents in Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust gave the hospital emergency department an average of 6.3 out of 10 for overall experience in 2022.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals A&E patient experience is significantly worse since 2020Blackpool Teaching Hospitals A&E patient experience is significantly worse since 2020
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals A&E patient experience is significantly worse since 2020

It is down from a score of 8.4 out of 10 when the survey was last done in 2020.

What did Blackpool Teaching Hospitals say about the patient survey results?

Trish Armstrong-Child, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I speak for everyone at the Trust when I say we are disappointed in these results and determined to do better for our patients and their families.

“I want to recognise the continued efforts of our staff to serve our community.”

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Patients treated with ‘respect and dignity’

The survey also shows the proportion of people feeling they were treated with respect and dignity in hospitals across England declined from 81% in 2020 to 72% last year.

Patients gave Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust a grade of 7.8 out of 10 on the matter – down from 9 in the previous survey.

Mrs Armstrong-Child added: “[Our staffs] dedication and commitment to patients remains their priority on providing high quality, safe care, despite seeing record numbers of attendances for a very long period of time. This is demonstrated within the survey where 99 per cent of respondents said they were treated with respect and dignity and 98 per cent agreed nurses involved them in conversations about their care."

Extra challenges in emergency care

Nationally, 18% of respondents gave a score of four or lower, with zero being a very poor experience. It was a leap from 8% two years prior.

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The CQC has previously said high call volumes and staff shortages in NHS 111 are leading to delays in people receiving medical advice and more people going to A&E.

A lack of available GP and dental appointments means NHS 111 cannot always send people to those, leading to people being asked to call 999 or go to A&E instead, it added.

New £25million Emergency Village

“The Trust has been aware of challenges in our urgent and emergency care pathways for some time and there has already been much improvement work carried out which is having a tangible impact on patient experience. This includes a new £25million Emergency Village, which completely reconfigures provision in urgent and emergency care, along with the new Workforce Plan which supports the expansion of the Emergency Village.”

Longer waits for A&E

The proportion of patients across England who said they waited longer than four hours to be examined in A&E last year more than quadrupled to 17% – up from 4% in 2020.

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In Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust, patients gave a score of 4.2 out of 10 regarding the length of time they waited to be examined – a fall from 7.1 two years earlier.

Dr Sean O’Kelly, the CQC’s chief inspector of healthcare, said staff are working extremely hard amidst challenging circumstances.

However, he added: "We cannot afford to ignore the long-term decline shown in relation to issues like waiting times, information provided when people leave to go home, access to pain relief and emotional support."

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Unprecedented demand and industrial action

An NHS spokeswoman said staff have delivered significant improvements since this survey was carried out, with faster ambulance response times and a greater number of patients being seen in A&E within four hours in June.

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She added: "This is despite unprecedented levels of demand, pressures on patient flow and industrial action."

She said the findings also demonstrate how patients value the "hard work and care from staff".

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