Northumbria has always believed that the most important people in their hospitals are their patients. However, demonstrating this empirically proved difficult other than anecdotal quotes and ‘soft’ factors.
Also, as an organisation founded on the principles of continuous quality improvement, Northumbria believed there was a direct correlation between a good patient experience and care quality, but were unable to prove it.
Northumbria has now developed one of the most extensive, transferrable patient experience frameworks in the NHS. Data is captured during and after patient care. Northumbria uses this data to adapt its ways of working and improve patients’ experience of care, outcomes and quality parameters.
Northumbria’s approach to patient experience management is based on its ambition to:
- Improve patients’ (and their families’) experience of care; and
- Support staff to provide the level of care they would like for themselves and their families.
There are 5 guiding principles that serve to underpin Northumbria’s patient experience framework:
- Leadership focus on compassionate care and service improvement;
- Using insights to improve care;
- Openness and honesty;
- Measureable improvement and sustained staff engagement; and
- Celebrating kindness and compassion
Northumbria collects feedback annually from over 50,000 people in a variety of ways and at different points of care. Including real-time. All feedback is shared publically.
“Everybody is so kind and thoughtful. I must be satisfied because I can’t think of any improvements” – Patient
Real-time measurement is fed back to clinical teams within 6 hours. Staff are empowered to resolve any issues quickly to minimise any negative issues for current and future patients.
Data is also collected from patients two weeks post discharge as it has been shown they are more likely to be most honest and critical then. This is known as right-time assessment, which provides a more detailed understanding of patient experiences across the entire patient pathway.
This holistic approach to capturing patient feedback encourages staff-led transformation to make positive improvements and take pride in their work rather than using feedback to blame.
There were many sustainable outcomes including:
- Reduced mortality and morbidity;
- Improved patient satisfaction;
- Increased staff retention;
- Care as rated outstanding by the UK’s care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC); and
- Rated as one of the best NHS organisations.
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