What do patients think of us? How do they rate the cleanliness of hospitals? Do they like the food they are served? Do they see good teamwork between doctors and nurses? How long do they wait in A & E? The Healthcare Commission regularly surveys patients and their latest findings are out today.
How did Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust do? Well - we were neither in the top ten...nor the bottom ten. Those of you with a competitive streak can compare the results by trust or against previous years.
NHS Surveys has information for patients on how to complete questionnaires. It also has information on the other surveys of patients that are carried out from time to time.
There's nothing like asking service users what they think to help you improve your service. It's easy to guess what we think other people would like - but do we always guess right? Does your great aunt Hilda always guess right what you'd like for your birthday?
It's also horribly easy to do things for our benefit, rather than our users. I do it too. Only today someone told me that the they couldn't find what they were looking for on the library web pages. I think they are nice and clear - but then I write them, and I look at them regularly, so of course I can find everything I need on them.
There is an NLH specialist library on patient and public involvement. There is a Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health. NICE encourages patient input into its work. Individual trusts also welcome input from patients and and the public.
Of course, one of the easiest ways to find out what people think is just to go ahead and ask them. Please feel free to let me know what you think about our service or the website or this blog. I'm all ears.