Engaging with patients at Royal Preston Hospital

December 5, 2023

Healthwatch Lancashire participated in an engagement event at Royal Preston hospital on Monday 27th November from 12:00-3:00pm. Representatives spoke to twelve patients and two relatives during this time and asked them about their experience of Royal Preston Hospital.

The purpose of this engagement was to gather feedback from patients about their experience of visiting the hospital, to establish areas of good practice and possible areas to improve.

Patients were asked the following questions:

  1. How did you receive your appointment today?
  2. Is there anything that has gone well, and the hospital can learn from?
  3. How do you feel about the care you have received today at the hospital?

During the visit Healthwatch Lancashire representatives found themselves directing patients to wards and areas of the hospital as they had become lost and couldn’t find certain places. They were also confused after coming out of the lifts due to a lack of signage.

During the visit it was observed that porters and security staff were directing patients to places within the hospital as it was clear patients did not understand where to go when looking at the signage. It was clear that some staff were also not clear on directions within the hospital when asked by patients and were seen to be looking at maps with patients.

At the time of the visit only two of the three lifts were working. Healthwatch representatives observed 15 patients waiting in the lift area for over 5 minutes waiting for the lift to come down to ground level.

Below are the answers that we received during the visit to Royal Preston Hospital. 

How did you receive your appointment today?

“I got a letter through the post and then I got a text a few days ago with a reminder.”

“This was a phone call appointment; I didn’t receive a letter as it was only booked a week ago.”

“This was a surgery that has been booked in for a few weeks now.”


How do you feel about the care you have received today at the hospital?

“Back support services have been really poor with me and my relative, they told me it was my job to get their medical records. They then said we had to wait two years for an operation as they didn’t have the tools to do the operation.”

“We visited the child health clinic today and they were very good with us, it was a nightmare to park, but we managed it.”


Is there anything that the hospital can learn from?

“They’ve been very good with me, I can’t complain. I’ve been on ward four and they are good, a few hiccups but nothing out of the ordinary.”

“It should be a calm experience, from parking, to directions to the compassion of the staff. Today it has all been negative, it has taken me 30 minutes to find a parking space, there was no one on information services to help me get to where we were going and then I felt very unsupported by the staff in the day of surgery admissions department.”

“I think the initial contact when coming into the hospital really makes a difference and there was no one there to help or support patients on the information desk which made me feel a bit disorientated and I felt like I was looking up all the time to see where I was going. A nice welcome and some support would have been nice.”

“I am a relative of someone who has been on the day of surgery admissions department this morning and the compassion and care is not where it should be. I felt very unsupported and didn’t even get to say good luck or goodbye to my relative. I felt the waiting area was chaos and it all felt very rushed.”

“My relative has been dropped off this morning, but I feel the communication from the hospital hasn’t been brilliant, we received a letter to say what time we needed to be there and what to bring with us. But when we arrived, we weren’t sure where to go and when we did arrive the person who checked us in just gave me a document and said just call us later to see how they are.”

Other comments

“Waiting for the lifts can be difficult and a long way to walk from the entrance to the lifts.”

“I struggled to find my way out of the building, I don’t find the signage helpful.”

“There are a lot of abbreviations on the signs, I might not be visiting that unit but they could put the full name on signs.”

“I don’t feel the PALS team listen to me, I have been with a complaint, and I felt they just tried to justify what happened instead of listening to me.”

“There is no one on information and directions near reception which isn’t helpful when its your first time in the hospital and you don’t know where you are going.”

“more people near reception would help to direct patients to the right place instead of us getting lost.”

“Having someone near the lifts to direct people would really help, I find I walk all the way down here following signs then I’m not sure where to go from here.”

“I have struggled to find the urology department, I didn’t receive a letter only a text message, so I didn’t know if it came under another department, I asked a member of staff, but they didn’t know either.”

“The website is massively out of date and the visiting hours document online is very sparce and doesn’t really tell you a lot. All it says is one person for one hour between 1-3pm and then between 6-8pm.”

This feedback has been shared with the Patient Experience team at the hospital. We would like to thank the staff that helped us on the day of the visit and for their continued support in Healthwatch. We are keen to continue working together moving forward and look forward to establishing the views of the community. We would also like to thank the patients that took their time to speak to representatives on the day and share their experiences.

Do you have feedback to share about a hospital in Lancashire? You can do this by:

Visiting our online independent Feedback Centre

Call us on 01524 239100

Email us at info@healthwatchlancashire.co.uk