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East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust responds to July Community Engagement Report

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has responded to a Healthwatch Lancashire report summarising what people have said about the health and social care services they use such as hospitals, GP services, dentists, care homes, pharmacies and adult social care.

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The report summarises the feedback on health and social care services in Lancashire gathered by members of the Healthwatch Lancashire team during public engagement activities in July 2016 and feedback gathered through the Healthwatch Lancashire website.

Results of the report regarding hospital services at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust were given to Meg Davey, Assistant Director of Patient Experience, who said: “We take all feedback very seriously and constantly strive to ensure all our patients and relatives have a good experience when using the Trust’s services.

“In response to comments relating to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, we would like to point out the following:

“Our staff work under increasing pressure and make every effort to provide safe, personal and effective care in a caring and compassionate manner.

“All patients attending the Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centres are triaged, that is, patients with the most serious injuries are treated first. This inevitably means that patients with minor / less serious injuries may wait longer at busy times.

“Sometimes the department may seem less busy than usual – unfortunately due to the nature of the department, staff may be dealing with poorly patients in clinical areas and are not always visible.

“Staff try and keep patients informed of waiting times, and at Royal Blackburn Hospital there is an information screen in the waiting room displaying up-to-the-minute waiting times.

“All patients attended the Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centres are encouraged to give feedback on their experience through the NHS Friends and Family test cards or text messages sent 48 hours after discharge.

“The Catering Department works hard to meet patients’ nutritional needs and requirements, including gluten free options. Menu choices are available and if there is an issue with the food the patient can escalate this to the ward area and there should always be a choice.

“Sandwiches and soup options are also available and food is available out of hours by asking the ward staff.

“The Catering Department scored highly in the latest national PLACE audit*, in which our food rating of 81% was a significant improvement on the previous year.

“The ENT department in Burnley is based at St Peters Health Centre. At the time of the Healthwatch visit, there was a job vacancy within the department which has since been filled.

“The comments have been discussed with the staff in the ENT department who were concerned to hear that any patient would find them rude. The report has been discussed with the staff to raise awareness.

“The staff endeavour to give a good patient experience as much as possible and keep the patients informed at every stage. Written information in the form of leaflets is also available and regularly given to patients.”

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, Healthwatch Lancashire Chief Officer, said: “We would like to thank East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for their response to our report and commend them on the improvements they will look to make particularly in relation to patient experience.”

The Healthwatch Lancashire July 2016 Community Engagement Report can be downloaded on the Healthwatch Lancashire website at www.healthwatchlancashire.co.uk/reports