Patients are being asked whether they would recommend their hospital to friends and family and now the scores for each local hospital have been published for the first time.

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More than 22,000 patients from the 46 acute hospitals across the East of England and the East and West Midlands were asked at the end of their treatment, “how likely is it that you would recommend this service to friends and family?”

The results show a wide difference between hospitals, highlighting those hospitals that need to do more and those from which they could learn.

The average score across the region is 62, but individual hospital scores range from 29 to 89, a 60-point difference between hospitals at the top and bottom.

The scores are worked out simply. Take the number who say no, from the number who say yes, and you get a score known as a net promoter score.

For the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Trust the score was 65, while it stands at 50 for the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn scored 71, while the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds scored 84.

However, both the QEH and JPH had low response rates of less than 10pc.

The James Paget’s interim director of nursing Tina Cookson said: “Providing a good patient experience is essential and we welcome the friends and family test. We are committed to improving the quality of care for all our patients and monitoring and acting on patient experience is a key part of that. It’s disappointing our response rate was low. It is early days for this new system and I’m sure the response rate will improve.

“We certainly want to improve on a score of 50 from the friends and family test. The CQC also asks patients through the national inpatient survey whether they would recommend hospitals to friends and family.

The 2011 CQC survey took the views of 491 patients who were in our care between October 2011 and January 2012 and 76pc said they would recommend us to loved ones. We are currently reviewing the way we capture patient experience across the trust to enable us to continually celebrate what we do well and improve on those areas where patients are not happy with their experience or care.”

Anna Dugdale, chief executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), said: “The question regarding whether a patient would recommend our service to their friends or family is the first question on our surveys. The feedback that comes through is incredibly helpful in assisting NNUH drive its improvements to services and several projects are under way, including making certain items of hospital equipment quieter to reduce disturbance to patients at night and proactively offering a variety of fruit to patients from dedicated fruit trolleys at mealtimes. NNUH, with Serco, is also developing a project on customer service training for ward catering staff.

“Other strands of work will be developed to address any emerging themes and concerns from the feedback and we are grateful to have it so that we can continuously drive up standards and improve the patient experience.”

kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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