Walsall Manor Hospital accident and emergency department communication survey

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Walsall carried out a survey about communication in the accident and emergency department of Walsall Manor Hospital during May 2016. This survey was carried out in response to issues raised with Healthwatch Walsall by members of the public. As Walsall Manor Hospital was already placed into special measures in 2016, Healtwatch Walsall focused on the 'softer' aspects of the patient experience such as communication. Key Findings - The shared waiting room for accident and emergency and the GP led urgent care centre caused confusion for 20% of patients. Long waiting times were a key area of concern for respondents with around 55% having no knowledge of the waiting time to be seen. A number of respondents felt there was a lack of communication in this area. Although most respondents felt they had been treated with dignity and respect, a number of comments were made concerning the failure of staff observing basic privacy measures and availability of staff to assist with the personal care of vulnerable patients. Although issues were raised with the above, generally people were happy with the quality of care they recieved and staff attitudes. Reccomendations - Communication with patients about waiting times could be improved by giving an indicative waiting time when they register and ensuring the digital information screen is running continually. Consideration should be given to how to ensure interpretation services can be more accessible for patients whose first language is not English. Communication needs should be assessed and acted upton to ensure vulnerable patients are properly involved in their treatment. Staff should be reminded of the need to treat patients with dignity and respect at all times including shutting cubicle doors and ensuring there are enough staff available to assist with personal care. The practice of making patients wear hospital gowns whilst waiting in general areas where other patients are fully dressed should be reviewed so that patients are not left feeling vulnerable. Whilst there are many positive comments about staff, the negative attitude of some staff should be addressed. Customer care training, including refresher courses should be mandatory for all staff dealing with patients, and managers should monitor and address any issues of poor attitude which impact on patient care. Finally, consideration ought to be given to combining the two receptions for urgent care and A&E so that trained receptionists can direct patients to the appropriate service rather than patients having to make that distinction themselves. This would reduce the amount of complaints arising from being passed from one window to another and having to repeat all your information and make sure people are dealt with in a timely manner.

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General details

Report title 
Walsall Manor Hospital accident and emergency department communication survey
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Walsall
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 28 February, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 May, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 14 March, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Health inequalities
Information providing
Quality of care
Staff attitudes
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 
Primary research method used 
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

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

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Not known
Types of long term conditions 
Not known

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people under the age of 18
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.