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Isles ‘better than average’ for patient satisfaction

NHS Shetland director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan
NHS Shetland director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan,

SHETLAND has once again scored above average for inpatient health care satisfaction, a new survey shows.

But whereas half of patients who attended the Gilbert Bain Hospital rated their experience as 10 out of 10, there was room for improvement when it came time to leave hospital and especially over the straightforwardness of the complaints procedure.

A quality report by director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan shows that a 2018 inpatient survey recorded 89 per cent positive responses compared with an 86 per cent Scottish average.

Carolan told NHS Shetland’s board on Tuesday (2 October) that: “Patients rated experience is good or very good in Shetland – better than the Scottish average.”

But there was perhaps a lack of “interface” between services with room for improvement in communications when patients moved from one service to another.

The Shetland figure for positive responses had slid from 94 per cent in 2016 while the Scottish figure had risen from 83 per cent in 2016.

Non-executive director Natasha Cornick questioned why 53 per cent of Shetland inpatients were unhappy with the arrangements for making complaints if they were dissatisfied with the care, treatment or service they received in hospital.

Carolan and several other board members expressed surprise this was the case, with director of community health and social care Simon Bokor-Ingram saying the Advocacy Shetland caseload had shot up in the last 18 months and “everything else would indicate that people have access to a voice.”

This figure was still better than average where 60 per cent of patients throughout Scotland were dissatisfied with complaints procedures.

Another 36 per cent of Shetland patients responded negatively over arrangements for hospital transport to take them home if they were eligible.

But a whopping 94 per cent said they felt safe at accident and emergency and almost all rated the staff and care and treatment they received as either “positive” or “very positive”.

Procedures and risks were also very thoroughly and understandably explained to patients, the figures show. Staff compassion and the involvement of friends and family also rated very highly.