A NATIONAL survey has shown most people experience good emergency care but lengthy wait times remain a problem — with the Island reflecting the national average.

Published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the survey, submitted by 466 Island residents, has ranked the Island's type one urgent and emergency care, including the A&E department, 7.9 out of 10 — 'about the same' as other trusts who were part of the survey.

This follows a warning from the CQC earlier in the year that services provided in the emergency department at St Mary's Hospital must improve 'as a matter of urgency'.

Issues were highlighted about patients being cared for in non-designated areas, not treated in a timely or safe manner and there was not enough staff on duty to deliver safe care and treatment.

However, between October 2018 and March 2019, a questionnaire was sent to people who had used Type 1 services and patients ranked the services as at the same national standard.

A concerning score was raised about the lack of privacy patients felt when being treated or examined, worse than the average score, but still at 8.6 out of 10.

The only other area which fell below the national average was for those who needed to know further information about how to get test results them — a 4.1 out of 10. Although when test results were given back to patients, staff explained them better than the average (9.2 out of 10) in a way patients could understand them.

Contributing to the national issue of waiting times, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust scored 6.2 out of 10, on average, with patients ranking services including information about wait times (3.8), helpful staff (7.4) and their total visit time to A&E (6.9).

Patients also felt safe and that they were treated with dignity and respect — both scoring highly in the survey.

Nationally, less than a third of patients waited 15 minutes or less with another third reportedly waiting over an hour before they were first examined, including five per cent who said they waited more than four hours. However, 41 per cent of respondents said their visit lasted more than four hours.  

Professor Ted Baker, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “I’m pleased to see the majority of people surveyed continue to report positively about their experience.

"This is despite the pressures that urgent and emergency care services are under and is a testament to the dedication and hard work of hospital staff across the country. 

“However, it is disappointing that in some areas people’s experience continues to fall short. We cannot ignore the increasing impact of lengthy waiting times particularly for those patients attending A&E departments. 

“I would like trusts to reflect on their survey results to understand what their patients really think and help identify what individual changes they can make to drive improvements, particularly where more effective integration with other services may be of benefit.”

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