Inpatient survey reveals needed improvements in shared decision-making

JUST over half (54 per cent) of NHS hospital inpatients in England do not feel that they are "definitely" involved in decisions about their care and treatment, according to a 2014 survey commissioned by the Care Quality Commission.

The poll of almost 59,000 inpatients also revealed that over a third were not satisfied that doctors "always" answered questions in a way they could understand and 61 per cent reported that they were "not completely" told about medication side-effects to watch out for when leaving hospital. Over a quarter felt that hospital staff "did not completely" take their home or family situation into account when planning their discharge from hospital.

But the survey found that the majority of inpatients felt they "always" had confidence and trust in their doctor (80 per cent) – and equally so in their nurses (79 per cent). Patients also scored their care favourably in regard to being treated with "dignity and respect", with 81 per cent agreeing that this was "always" the case.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Picker Institute, who developed and coordinated the 2014 NHS Inpatients Survey, said: "It is great to see so many patients reporting positive experiences, especially in the areas of trust and confidence in the staff treating them. However, this is not an excuse to become complacent. There are still many who are not receiving the care that they need and indeed deserve.

 "Areas such as involvement, communication and co-ordination all have significant room for improvement."

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