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Hospital A&E staff must help patients control pain

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Staff in accident and emergency (A&E) departments must do more to help patients control pain and give them enough information when they leave hospital, according to the findings of the latest Healthcare Commission patient survey.

The survey found that although 59 per cent of patients who attended A&E felt staff had done all they could to help control their pain, 27 per cent only felt they had to some extent and 14 per cent said staff had not helped.

The Commission warned trusts that ‘further improvement is needed in this area as a whole.’

The findings also show that many patients said they do not get enough information when they leave A&E.

Only about a third said they were given a complete explanation of possible side effects of their medication.

The Commission’s chief executive Anna Walker said: ‘Patients have raised important issues about staff helping to control pain, the information patients are given on discharge, privacy when they book in at reception and access to help when needed.’

‘This is important feedback that trusts should listen to. We hope all trusts will compare their results with others and act to ensure they match the best.’

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