– Prime Minister
I am determined to give patients a far greater voice within the NHS as a way of highlighting the best and worst of care within our hospitals.
With the ‘Friends and Family’ test, we now have a single measure that looks at the quality of care across the country.
I want the NHS to put patient satisfaction at the heart of what they do and expect action to be taken at hospitals where patients and staff say standards are not good enough.
Patients in 36 hospital wards across England would not recommend them to their friends or family, according to a new test designed to shine the spotlight on poor care.
Of 4,500 wards across England, patients who were treated in 36 wards would be unhappy to send their loved ones to receive the same care.
The first wave of the "Friends and Family" test also saw just one English A&E department get a "negative score" - at Chase Farm Hospital, part of the Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital NHS Trust, in north London.
Almost 700,000 patients were eligible to take the 'Friends and Family Test' in June 2013 to rate their Accident and Emergency service but only 10% completed the survey.
Almost two-thirds of patients would be extremely likely to recommend their accident and emergency ward in which they were treated to friends and family, according to a survey.
Results for for A&E departments in England for June showed:
- 62.6% would be extremely likely to recommend their A&E service
- 25.6% would be likely to recommend their A&E service
- 4.1% would be neither likely or unlikely to recommend their A&E service
- 2.4% would be unlikely to recommend their A&E service
- 3.2% would be extremely unlikely to recommend their A&E service
- 2.2% did not know
The "Friends and Family" test is not designed to point the finger at failing NHS hospitals, a health minister claimed.
Anna Soubry told ITV's Daybreak: "It's about finding out where there are failings within otherwise great performing hospitals.
"One of the things we do know is that some people can have an amazingly, brilliant experience when they use our NHS. Unfortunately not everyone has that same experience.
"So this test identifies where there are faults, where there are failings, as well as where things are working well so that hospitals know what they need to do to make sure everybody gets the same great service."
A new test designed to shine the spotlight on poor care, and due to be published today is an "historic" moment for the NHS, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today.
Mr Hunt added: "We will eventually know what patients think about almost every ward, at every hospital, across the country. This simple test will throw a spotlight on both good and poor care, and sends a clear signal to every NHS organisation that patients must come first every time.
"This milestone moment is a key plank in our wider campaign to make sure that patients' voices are heard at every level of the NHS. Sir Bruce Keogh's recent review placed particular weight on patient feedback, and the CQC's new inspections will have patients playing a central part."
The Friends and Family Test is a key part of the solution to driving up standards in hospitals, NHS England's national director for patients and information said today, after it was revealed the report would be published for the first time today.
Tim Kelsey said:
At the heart of the tragedy of Mid Staffordshire was one simple lesson: the NHS has got to do better at listening to patients and doing something about what they say.
This is a radical response, a potential game changer. It creates a direct conversation and gives NHS staff the opportunity to respond quickly to what they are being told. Patients can also use the information to see what others are saying about the services.
We hope to encourage a patient-led revolution in healthcare, driven by the transparency, better information and public participation in design of services.