Communication must improve

PUBLISHED: 12:45 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:03 06 May 2010

COMMUNICATION between hospital staff and patients needs to improve, according to a new survey. The latest NHS inpatient survey shows that patients experiences of their admissions to the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust s hospitals has improved as

COMMUNICATION between hospital staff and patients needs to improve, according to a new survey.

The latest NHS inpatient survey shows that patients' experiences of their admissions to the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's hospitals has improved as have levels of cleanliness but communication has got worse.

The survey revealed that 35 per cent of patients did not feel they had received enough privacy when discussing a condition or treatment, 48 per cent of patients did not think their family got enough chance to speak to their doctor, 40 per cent of people did not get a clear answer to their questions.

Other concerns were that staff sometimes contradicted each other, results were not explained in a clear way and that staff spoke "in front of you as if you're not there".

Spokesman Peter Gibson said: "Our staff have good verbal English but some have heavy accents which can make communication difficult."

He said the consistency of communication skills needed to improve as well.

The Trust's director of nursing, Noel Scanlon, said: "Quality of communications between our staff, patients and carers, is an issue that we have to continue to address. While we know that hospitals are extremely busy place, this is clearly an aspect of our world on which we need to concentrate far more."

But he was pleased with other areas of the survey, saying: "As a clinician, I was really pleased to see that nine out of 10 patients continue to feel that our nurses and doctors work well together and that only one in 10 felt that their care had not been up to their expectations. The number of patients who would not recommend one of the Trust's hospitals to family and friends has dropped to below 10 per cent.

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