Mystery shop exercise completed at Chesterfield Royal Hospital

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Derbyshire conducted a mystery shopping exercise at Chesterfield Royal Hospital to collect information about hospital appointment letters and experiences of attending outpatient appointments. 

The report found that appointment letters were clear and easy to read, although could be more accessible to those with visual impairments, such as using larger print. Volunteers felt that those visitors unable to access the internet may be at a disadvantage in not being able to access directions to the hospital. Volunteers reported a queue for the car park and that there was a lack of drop-off points for patients with mobility issues. Volunteers found the payment machines to be easy to use and tariffs were displayed at each of the machines seen. The machine also “spoke” making it easier to use and machines were sheltered from the elements. Volunteers found reception staff to be helpful and friendly, with self-service machines allowing for swifter booking in times. Some volunteers commented on the lack of resting areas on the way to the clinics and all signage was positioned at a high level which may not be visible to people using wheelchairs. Most volunteers appeared to find the attendance at clinics a good experience with staff generally being praised. However, volunteers described some waiting areas as being restricted in space with wheelchair space being limited.

A number of recommendations were made regarding appointment letters, internet research, travel, car parking, and experience in the reception.

The service provider responded well to the recommendations. 

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General details

Report title 
Mystery shop exercise completed at Chesterfield Royal Hospital
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Derbyshire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 20 August, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Building and facilities
Car parking access
Car parking charges
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Service Provider
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Chesterfield Royal Hospital
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
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 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
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? 
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? 
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? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.