Experiences of patients at Great Western Hospital

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Swindon, Wiltshire and West Berkshire carried out a piece of engagement work to hear the experiences of patients that had used the Great Western Hospital (GWH) in Swindon.

They carried out two surveys which ran for a month each – one for the Emergency Department (ED) and Urgent Care and one for inpatient wards at GWH. They also visited these areas face-to-face and virtually and made telephone calls to patients that had been discharged.

Key findings:

  • Most had sought help from other services before attending ED or Urgent Care 
  • Comments around treatment and quality of care were broadly positive
  • A small number felt they had not been treated with dignity and respect, did not feel involved in their care, or feel safe
  • Staffing pressure shortages were widely recognised by patients and the impact this had on care 
  • Food was an area that could be improved
  • While the discharge process worked for some, for many there were delays and communication was raised as an issue
  • Carers reported a worse experience generally than patients themselves

A number of recommendations are made in the report, including increased monitoring of patients waiting in the ED and more information about accessing other available services, improved communication with patients, reviewing the quality and quantity of food, and working with system partners to consider the whole patient pathway and review and improve discharge pathways.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of patients at Great Western Hospital
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Swindon
Healthwatch West Berkshire
Healthwatch Wiltshire
Date of publication 
Thursday, 16 December, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 July, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 1 August, 2021
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Continuity of care
Food and nutrition
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Primary research method used 
User stories

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Urgent care services
Secondary care services 
Inpatient care
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised

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.