Impact report: how patient feedback has improved hospital waiting rooms

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Birmingham published a report “What is it like being in a hospital waiting room: People’s views in Birmingham” in 2019. This report described the experiences of people using hospital waiting rooms, made recommendations to NHS hospital trusts and the Community Health NHS Trust, and provided the responses from trusts to these recommendations.

This report outlines the actions taken by the participating trusts in response to the findings of this report.

Changes include immediate improvements, such as installing more signage or water fountains. Where appropriate, trusts undertook reviews of current and best practice and shared best practice between trusts. Staff and volunteer training was undertaken and inspections made.

Due to these improvements, patients visiting the waiting rooms of participating NHS trusts should experience:

  • Shorter waiting times
  • Better quality service for people with disabilities
  • Better appointment calling and appointment displays
  • Improved access to water, supporting hydration
  • Greater awareness that feedback is welcomed, and more opportunities to provide it

Healthwatch Birmingham created posters which trusts have agreed to display in hospital waiting rooms summarising changes that patients may directly experience due to Healthwatch’s investigation at each hospital. They also request patients, and their friends and family, to continue to share their feedback.

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General details

Report title 
Impact report: how patient feedback has improved hospital waiting rooms
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Birmingham
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 18 March, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 September, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 8 February, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds
Cancer services
General surgery
Accident & emergency
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
not known
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not known
Does the information include other people's 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? 
Not applicable
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible impact (not cost related)

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.