Patients at Letterkenny University Hospital have rated their care experience on a quality scale slightly below national average in 2017, according to a HIQA report published today.
A report by Ireland’s Health and Information Quality Authority surveyed patients’ feedback of recent stays and showed that 82% of patients at Letterkenny University Hospital said they had a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ experience. The national average is 84%.
18% of patients indicated a fair to poor overall experience at the hospital, with areas including discharge and transfer indentified as those in need of improvement.
The National Experience Survey uncovered areas of improvement and areas of good performance throughout all stages of care at the hospital.
Positive findings included 88% of people saying they felt they were always treated with respect and dignity in the emergency department.
The lowest scoring stage of care was in the discharge or transfer process. Many patients (43% of 278) said that hospital staff had not taken their family or home situation into account when organising their discharge. Half of the patients surveyed said that if their family or someone close to them wanted to talk to a doctor they did not always get sufficient opportunity to do so.
Some patients were unsatisfied with the explanation of medication side effects at the time of discharge. Of
the 296 people who needed an explanation, 171 (58%) said they were not told, or were told only to some extent, about medication side effects to watch for when they went home.
On the other hand, 63% reported feeling involved in the decisions about their care and treatment.
The survey of 434 people who stayed at LUH in May 2017 revealed that 90% of respondents entered the hospital through the emergency department. The average age of people surveyed was 67 years.
Waiting times for patient admissions via the emergency department were below HSE targets. 37% of people reporting that they were admitted to a ward within six hours of arriving at the emergency department.
Key findings in relation to care on the ward at LUH showed that patients in general reported positive experiences in relation to privacy and cleanliness on the ward.
The survey found that 58% of patients in Letterkenny University Hospital were not always given a choice of food. However, the hospital scored 7.8 in terms of food ratings.
Time discussing care and treatments with doctors was an issue, as many patients said that staff did not answer, or answered only to some extent, questions about operations or procedures in a way that they could understand. Patients also said that they were not always told how they could expect to feel after an operation or procedure.
These findings will serve to inform quality improvement initiatives in Letterkenny University Hospital.
The hospital has responded to the majority of issues raised and detailed ongoing programmes to improve patient care in a document here: https://www.patientexperience.ie/app/uploads/2017/12/LetterkennyUniversityHospital_QIP_2017.pdf
Read the full LUH National Patient Experience Survey here: https://www.patientexperience.ie/app/uploads/2017/12/Letterkenny_Report_2017.pdf