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Patients’ high score for our hospitals

01 Nov 2018


The latest independent survey of patients admitted to Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District hospitals shows 93 percent rated their overall experience with the highest ratings of ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

The Bureau of Health Information Adult Admitted Patient Survey, released this week, includes responses from over 900 patients who were admitted to NBMLHD hospitals in 2017.

The survey polls patients’ views and experiences on a wide range of clinical and non-clinical topics and how staff delivered care.

96 percent of patients rated their doctors as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ and 84 percent reported all hospital staff always treated them with ‘respect and dignity’.

74 percent reported the care they received in hospital ‘definitely’ helped.

NBMLHD Chief Executive Kay Hyman says the survey reflected the District’s focus on putting patients at the centre of everything it does.

“The survey data is one of the valuable tools we use to measure how we’re doing. I’m pleased the results show our staff are providing compassionate care while delivering world class clinical care,” says Mrs Hyman.

“Patients must always be at the heart of what we do and we are working hard to further improve our services.”

While 79 percent of patients did not experience any delay in their discharge, those who did reported the most common cause was waiting to see a doctor and waiting for a letter they could take to their GP.

Since the survey in 2017, measures to help smooth the discharge process have been introduced or expanded, including:

  • ‘Criteria led discharge’ where clinicians who are not doctors, for example nurses or occupational therapists, can discharge patients whose recovery is on track.
  • Information sharing with patients’ GPs has improved with the increased use of electronic medical records.

At the District’s busiest hospital, Nepean, 74 percent of patients said they would ‘speak highly’ of their experience.

Despite the growing demand for services and the number of patients being seen at Nepean Hospital, 95 percent of patients report staff were ‘always polite and courteous’ on their arrival which was higher than similar hospitals across the State.

Nepean Hospital is one of four hospitals across NSW in a $2 million pilot trial to improve the patient experience in the emergency department.

The six month trial, starting in November, will include new, specially trained, staff dedicated to greeting and assisting patients and their loved ones when they arrive in the ED.

Other measures in the trial include greater comforts in the waiting room, such as free wifi, mobile phone charging stations, water and other refreshments.

At Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital 96 percent of patients said staff in the emergency department were polite and courteous compared to 93 percent of patients at similar hospitals in NSW.

Patients at Lithgow Hospital commended the facility on providing a quiet environment with 74 percent saying noise did not wake them up during their admission, compared to 66 percent of patients in similar hospitals.

In 2018-19 the NSW Government is investing a record $22.9 billion in health, representing a $1.1 billion increase on the 2017-18 Budget. This includes $19.2 billion towards improving services in hospitals in NSW this year.

The 2018-19 Budget also added 1,370 health staff, including 950 nurses and midwives, 300 medical practitioners and 120 allied health professionals – resulting in a record frontline clinical and clinical support staff of over 105,000.