Service user experiences of Croydon University Hospital Accident and Emergency Department

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Summary of report content

Between August and November 2019, Healthwatch Croydon asked those who had recently used Croydon University Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department what their experience of services was like. They spoke to 79 service users

The department scored highly for overall satisfaction with over 50% scoring it as excellent and a further 29% stating it was good; friendliness scored highest with 88% scoring excellent or good; 81% waiting areas 64; 70% communication with staff; 69% that what they came for was made better scored excellent or good 54 and 50% were satisfied with waiting times.

Being assessed more than one or speaking to two or more staff was not a concern: Very few patients were assessed once, but no-one found this negative. Most found the experience positive increasing if they had three or more assessments. A significant comment chose not to comment, suggesting that this issue was not a major issue. More had to speak to two or more doctors or nurses, but of those who gave a comment most found this a positive experience, and only very few had a negative experience. Many no comments suggest that this was not a significant issue for many.

Waiting times could be communicated better: When we asked for improvements, many said that they would like to have better communication of waiting times to manage their expectations

Several people found the seats uncomfortable and toilets untidy, as well as limited access to food and drink facilities.

While many found staff friendly and helpful and information good, there were a number of instances were staff did not meet expectations, and information and processes were not as clear as they could be.

Bearing in mind the small sample, for the very young and over 65s the time they had to wait vs expected time was lower, irrespective of how long they wanted to wait. The 19-25 and 26-40 waiting on average up to an hour longer than expected, but these numbers are small. Those aged 41 to 60 were more likely to have higher expectations of less time in A&E than what happened.

The report contains six recommendations.

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General details

Report title 
Service user experiences of Croydon University Hospital Accident and Emergency Department
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Croydon
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 August, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 30 November, 2019
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff levels
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? 
Primary research method used 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
1-15 years
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
85 +
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Not known
Other ethnic group
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? 
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? 
Not known
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.