Today the CQC has published results from its patient experience survey of accident and emergency departments. This survey is carried out every two years and provides a vital insight into how NHS services are working for people.
The findings are broadly consistent with the results captured in 2016 and show people continue to have an overall positive experience.
It is worth noting that whilst 41% of people report that their visit lasted longer than four hours, the timeframe in which the NHS aims to see and treat patients, only 21% of people would rate their overall experience below a 7 on a scale of 10.
This suggests that targets focused on time alone, such as the 4-hour standard in A&E, are not the best measure of how well things are working for the people being cared for.
Responding to the news, Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England, said:
“Despite the intense pressures facing the NHS, these survey results show that people’s experiences of attending A&E continue to be largely positive with people getting the high quality care they have come to expect.
“As the CQC points out in its analysis of the data, previous research by Healthwatch has shown that factors like a speedy diagnosis, high quality care and clear communication all rank above ‘length of time’ in influencing how people feel about their experience in A&E.
“It’s positive that NHS England are reviewing the performance targets in urgent and emergency care, but we need to make sure hospitals take this opportunity to focus on the elements of care that matter most to people.”