Just under 35,000 respondents, including over 11,000 children and young people, have taken the opportunity to speak up about their healthcare experience in a national survey published by the CQC this morning (Tuesday 28 November).
The survey, which is owned by Picker and licensed to the CQC, ran from February to June 2017 and 132 NHS acute trusts from across England participated.
The survey groups respondents into:
- Parents of 0-7 year olds
- 8-11 year olds and their parents
- 12-15 year olds and their parents
Whilst there were many positive findings in the survey, there were some key themes that highlight where person-centred care isn’t as embedded as it could be.
The results strongly suggest that experiences differ between different age groups, particularly around play and activities, and communications between healthcare staff and young patients.
For example, almost double the number of 12-15 year olds (21%) reported not having enough things to do in hospital compared to 8-11 year old respondents (12%); a significant lack of parity between these age groups.
Play and activities also appear to be of concern to the parents of younger children; 1 in 4 parents of 0 -7 year olds (26%) said that staff didn’t play with their child at all during their hospital stay but they would have liked this to have happened.
Chief Research Officer at Picker, Jenny King, says:
“It’s important to note that there are different needs and preferences amongst children and young people and it’s key that Trusts acknowledge this when designing and improving their services.
Understanding directly from children and young people what matters to them in the care that they receive is a central principle to providing high quality person-centred care.”
Another area that needs improvement as highlighted in the results is communications relating to operations and procedures.
Young patients aged 8-15 years old were more likely to report positive experiences of communications before an operation or procedure rather than after it. Before an operation or procedure 93% of 8-15 year olds said that it was explained to them what was about to be done. However, only 78% of them knew how the operation had gone afterwards.
In addition, amongst parents of 8-15 year olds, 90% said their child’s operation or procedure had been completely explained to them beforehand, and afterwards only 78% had received a complete explanation on how the operation or procedure had gone.
“This finding is important because it highlights the value of high quality communications through all stages of the person’s healthcare journey.”
The survey also offered excellent insight into elements of care that were more positive.
Amongst parents of 0-7 year olds, 83% felt people looking after their child were ‘always’ friendly and that their child was ‘always’ well looked after. Furthermore, 91% of the 8-15 year old age group said they were ’very well’ or ‘quite well’ looked after.
Finally, 94% of 8-15 year olds ‘always’ felt able to ask questions about their care, and 92% felt that staff were able to answer their questions.
Despite the disparity in experiences of care amongst respondents, the results also show that in some important areas person-centred care is implemented effectively, as directly reported by children and young people using NHS services.
The full survey can be read here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/childrenssurvey