Published Thu, 2012-06-28 14:29; updated 38 weeks ago.
NHS local has published the results of a pioneering hourly survey that shows what recent patients really think of hospital services in the West Midlands.
The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH) proved to be the trust with which patients in the West Midlands were most satisfied when asked, at the end of their treatment: "How likely is it that you would recommend this service to friends and family?"
Patients were least likely to recommend University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) – though overall they were still more happy with the service than not.
The survey was conducted by NHS Midlands and East* as part of its ambition to overcome the challenge that the health system faces in ensuring that the patient and public voice is heard and acted upon.
The graphic above shows the result when more than 22,000 patients from the 46 acute hospitals across the West Midlands, East Midlands and east of England region were asked if they would recommend this service to friends and family.
The percentage who said "no" was subtracted from the percentage who said "yes", creating what is known as the Net Promoter score. A score of 100 means all patients would recommend the service, so the nearer the score is to 100 the better.
The average score of all trusts in the West Midlands, East Midlands and east of England was +62, with RJAH scoring +89 and UHCW scoring +44. To see how individual trusts fared go to NHS local's Performance & Opinion and search within the West Midlands.
Stephen Dunn, Director of Policy and Strategy at NHS Midlands and East, who is responsible for delivering the Friends and Family test said: "Now hospitals have this information it is important that they act on it.
"Those at the top need to understand what it is that is making people recommend them, and do more of it. Those who are towards the bottom need to understand why and do something about it.
"This is not a ‘name and shame’ exercise as all hospitals had positive scores and there are examples of excellent care in them all. It is about improvement across all our hospitals.
"This means further discussions with those customers, those patients who said ‘no’.
"It means finding out more. It means analysing the answers to see if the bad experience is on one ward, or one speciality or across the hospital.
"It means really digging into the detail. By doing this, they will get more people recommending the hospital by improving their experience."
The Net Promoter score will be published on NHS local each month, making it possible to compare the performance of trusts over time. It will also become more detailed, eventually drilling down to scores for individual wards.
The Net Promoter technique, which underlies the Friends and Family score, has been proven to be effective in improving customer service in the hotel and other industries. The measure does not show what the problem is, but it quickly gives an indication when there is an issue to be addressed.
The Friends and Family test was explicitly endorsed on Friday, 25 May 2012 by Prime Minister David Cameron who announced the test is to be used across the country from April 2013.
"In every hospital, patients are going to be able to answer a simple question: whether they'd want a friend or relative to be treated there in their hour of need," he said.
"By making those answers public we’re going to give everyone a really clear idea of where to get the best care – and drive other hospitals to raise their game."
*NHS Midlands and East was formed from the NHS East of England, NHS East Midlands and NHS West Midlands.