Ward managers and other senior nurses should give greater priority to improving patients’ experience in hospital, as it can help save money as well as improve quality, according to the NHS Confederation.
Well informed patients who feel they are listened to and are comfortable are less likely to develop complications or be readmitted, the organisation says in its report Feeling Better? Improving Patient Experience in Hospital.
The report, published last week, says patient experience has traditionally been viewed as something “nice but not necessary” and warns that “a big cultural shift at many hospitals is needed” if it is to get the priority it deserves.
Former nurse and Confederation deputy director of policy Jo Webber said: “Simple things like spending time with patients, talking to them, listening to their concerns and addressing issues like noise, privacy and the quality of food can make a huge difference. People who have a better experience in these terms are happier, healthier and do better.”
The report also highlights work by a number of NHS hospitals to improve patients’ experience, for example, Whipps Cross in London.