What do patients think of North Devon A&E and minor injuries units?

North Devon District Hospital's A&E entrance.

North Devon District Hospital's A&E entrance. - Credit: Archant

North Devon’s accident and emergency and minor injuries units have scored well in a national patient survey.

The Care Quality Commission's (CQC) urgent and emergency care survey asked people who visited North Devon District Hospital A and E or MIUs in Bideford, Ilfracombe and Lynton in September 2018 what they thought about their experience.

The services had high scores, mostly eight or nine out of 10, across a range of categories including staff, treatment, the environment and the overall experience.

With a grading of 'better', 'about the same' or 'worse' when compared with other trusts, North Devon's A and E was ranked as 'about the same' across the board but 'better' when it came to advice and support offered when patients left A and E.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust said the survey results showed many improvements, but there was a drop in satisfaction with A and E waiting times.

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The MIUs scored better than the national average across five categories - waiting times, health professionals, care and treatment, leaving the centre and respect and dignity.

The survey results included significant improvements for cleanliness of A and E and higher scores than most trusts for overall time spent in MIUs.

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It also found improvements on staff taking the family or home situation of patients into account when they leave A and E.

Suzanne Tracey, chief executive of NDHT said: "These are fantastic results that our staff should be very proud of.

"It's great to see patients are seeing improvements in some of the areas we've been focusing on and I was really pleased to receive a letter from the CQC congratulating us for scoring more highly than other areas for our MIUs.

"Well done to staff across our sites in northern Devon. These results are testament to the hard work they're putting in to provide the best possible experience to our patients when they need us."

Dr Liam Kevern, A and E consultant and lead clinician, said: "We're really pleased to see that patients are having a good experience on the whole, but some patients are unfortunately waiting longer than we'd like.

"Our services are likely to get busier as we head into winter and we are taking steps to prepare. Whilst we are always there for people in an emergency, you can help us by choosing the right service for your needs.

"This could be a minor injuries service - as the survey results show, the staff in our MIUs provide excellent care, and you could spend less time waiting for treatment and advice."

The full results of the survey can be found at: www.cqc.org.uk/publications/surveys/urgent-emergency-care-survey-2018 .

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