West Sussex outpatient care ‘worse than average’

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OUTPATIENT care at hospitals in West Sussex has been rated as “worse than average” in three areas.

In a report by the Care Quality Commission, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust was rated below average by outpatients in three out of 48 areas.

In all other areas the trust, which runs Southlands Hospital, in Shoreham, and Worthing Hospital, scored “about the same” as the average.

The three areas where the trust scored lower than the national average were as follows:

When asked if it was explained to them why tests were needed, patients scored the trust 7.6 out of 10.

When asked if they felt outpatient appointments helped to better manage a condition or illness, outpatients gave the trust a score of 5.8 out of 10.

When asked if they felt they had been adequately told about the danger signals linked to their illness or treatment, outpatients scored the trust 4.9 out of 10.

There were no areas where the trust was rated as “better” than other trusts.

Western Sussex Hospitals’ highest score was for treating patients with respect and dignity – outpatients gave the trust a score of 9.4 out of 10.

The trust also scored nine or above when it came to patients having confidence and trust in their doctor, having confidence and trust in other staff members involved in their care, the extent to which staff acknowledged patients, how much privacy was given for discussions and avoiding confusion by not giving contradictory information.

Cathy Stone, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust director of nursing, said: “We were pleased to score more than 7.5 on the majority of questions the survey asked, and to achieve nine or better on some important measures around confidence in doctors, and treating patients with privacy, dignity and respect.

“Outpatient services are a very important part of our work and we are investing significantly in new facilities across the entire trust so we can improve the standards of care we offer.

“We have already declared our intention to develop Southlands Hospital as a centre for outpatient care and ophthalmology, and we have a new outpatients block about to open at Worthing Hospital. There is also work well underway to develop a new ophthalmology outpatients department at St Richard’s Hospital, in Chichester.”