Summary of report content
Healthwatch Dudley undertook a research project to collect patients’ views and experiences of their journeys during their stay on hospital medical and surgical wards and to gain their views on possible discharge options. They spoke to 31 patients between 26 January 2015 and 5 March 2015
Four themes were identified that helped to improve understanding of what patients were saying about their hospital journeys and communications with staff on their care and discharge arrangements. Theme one elaborates on how staff were viewed by patients, in most instances, to be delivering good care. Consequently, there needs to be an emphasis on conversations and interactions between patients and staff building trust, encouraging and effectively dealing with questions and helping to foster the genuine co-production of decisions about care and wellbeing.
Theme two was about the time that hospital staff have to interact with patients and have conversations with them about their care and wellbeing. It is important to get the balance right between providing high quality care and the time and space needed for meaningful and productive conversations and communications.
Theme three focuses on patients knowing what is happening to them. Good conversations and communications between staff and patients will keep patients informed about what is being planned for them and why. Clear two-way communication also helps staff to better understand how patients feel about what is happening to them and how their hospital experience and discharge might be improved.
Theme four recognises that a patient’s move to a stepdown or intermediate care placement can be particularly stressful and problematic unless care is taken to get communications about such arrangements right. There must be clear information provided from the outset on options for leaving hospital or discharge that is regularly reviewed and updated to avoid unnecessary patient anxiety or surprises in terms of care that is provided or discharge planning.