Enter and view: Lincolnshire Hospital Trust A and E Departments

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Summary of report content

As an independent consumer champion, Healthwatch Lincolnshire is entitled to enter and view, subject to certain restrictions, any health or social care service which receives public funding. As a result, this report relates to the visits conducted to three hospital sites of the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust (ULHT). The visits were made in complete cooperation with the Hospital Trust and every effort was made by them to ensure we had reasonable access. The visits were arranged using authorised and trained representatives to conduct surveys at the hospital sites over a 3 week period covering a variety of days, evening and night-shift patterns. The purpose of the visits was to ascertain the views of patients, relatives and carers visiting the A&E departments for treatment and to understand how the service provision felt for them. In addition, we gathered further information from the staff around some of the challenges facing the A&E department. The data gathered consisted of 262 face-to-face interviews with waiting patients, relatives and carers. In addition, a smaller number were completed online. The views of the these individuals are captured within the report, however, common themes ran throughout and included a greater need for awareness and education of when and how to use A&E services; the need for greater information and signage to manage patients expectations in relation to waiting times and the need to understand the different stages of the A&E pathway from admission to triage to treatment and discharge. It was evident that the Trust and other partners such as the East Midlands Ambulance Service, Lincolnshire County Council and Community Health Services needed to work together to address issues around processes and how they slow down and impact on patient care. Concerns were also related to the condition of the premises including broken or worn chairs, décor in poor condition, flooring potentially creating a hazard, lack of wheelchairs and lack of bariatric waiting room seating. The sites appeared to vary considerably in terms of their aesthetic appearance whether that be from a decorative view point, facility functionality or just simply the availability of information. In section 8 of this report Healthwatch Lincolnshire had made a number of recommendations to the Trust and would ask that a response be made within 20 working days of its publication. These recommendations include the need for a multi-agency education and awareness campaign for the public using the A&E service; a rethink on hospital discharge, particularly relating to how the patient will get home safely and also ways in enabling the Trust to get better rates of feedback from its Friends and Family Survey, to name a few. However, it should be emphasised that what the visits found was that, whilst the majority of people had some complaint to make about the service, overwhelmingly most people were happy with the service they received and in the main, this seemed to be attributed to the care and professionalism of the staff when they were in contact with the patients. The Hospital Trust has provided Healthwatch Lincolnshire with an opportunity to return to the Hospital sites to undertake further visits with the added value of being able to access the clinical area. This is an action Healthwatch welcomes and we shall build this into our work plan for the next 6 to 12 months.

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General details

Report title 
Enter and view: Lincolnshire Hospital Trust A and E Departments
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Lincolnshire
Date of publication 
Saturday, 1 February, 2014
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 3 January, 2014
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 29 January, 2014
Type of report 
Enter and view
Key themes 
Access
Administration
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Quality of treatment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-6831

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Observation
Structured interview
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
Announced

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
262
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Service manager
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.