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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Patients 'positive on hospitals'
Over 8m inpatients are admitted to hospital each year
Hospital inpatients are broadly satisfied with their care, but do have concerns about cleanliness, lack of information and staffing, a poll says.

The Healthcare Commission survey of 80,000 patients in England's 169 hospitals found nine in 10 rated their experience as at least good.

But two fifths said there were not always enough nurses and some thought there was a lack of help at meal times.

Patient groups queried if satisfaction figures were really as high as quoted.

Ambulance services also received good marks with nine in 10 saying they definitely found the crews reassuring.

We believe there are serious concerns about staffing, cleanliness - both of which are referred to
Patients Association spokeswoman

But the most critical aspects of the survey was reserved for the care and standards on wards.

Nearly 40% needing help during meal times said the support was never or only sometimes there. Two fifths said they were discharged without being told about the side effects of medicine.

And a similar number also complained about nurse staffing on wards.

One in four patients said they faced long waits between being admitted to A&E and getting access to a ward or bed.

Meanwhile, only half of patients classed their room or ward as "very clean" - down slightly since 2002.

It is the third time the NHS watchdog has carried out the survey and in most cases the results have stayed similar.


Healthcare Commission chief executive Anna Walker said: "Hospital staff should take heart from the fact that patients are rating their care so highly.

"However, patients are sending a clear message that there is more work to do. Providing patients with the right information, in the right format and at the tight time is crucial to their

And Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service managers, said the results were "great to see".

"And it is not only NHS hospital staff who should be congratulated.

"The commission's survey shows that ambulance crews have worked hard in delivering reassurance and support to patients - often when they are at their most vulnerable."

But the Patients Association questioned the high satisfaction rating.

"It depends on what question you ask, to what answer you get. I doubt nine in 10 patients are really happy with their care.

"We believe there are serious concerns about staffing, cleanliness - both of which are referred to."

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