Nearly 20% of Inpatients Don’t Know the Nurse in Charge of Their Ward

Nearly 20% of recently surveyed patients in hospital do not know who is in charge of their care with this happening as the belief that there are “always or nearly always” enough nurses working at one time has gone down.  This information comes from a survey answers from the National Health Service (NHS).

The recently revealed Care Quality Commission’s Adult Inpatient Survey (CQC) from 2016 showed that of the 77,850 patients who joined in, 61% revealed the health service had sufficient nurses when they were inpatients.

The result was better, in fact, it was a best in a decade in 2015, when 62% of the 83,000 questioned indicate there was adequate nursing staff.

A new question was posed for the 2016 assessment with patients being asked if they were aware of who was the charge nurse assigned to their case on a particular shift.

With 49% indicating a knowledge at all times of who was the nurse supervising their case, 31% said this was sometimes the case, with 19% saying they had no idea.

There was a small drop in the number of patients who said they knew what their nurse meant when she answered a question asked.  Meanwhile, there has been a slight difference in the number of patients who said they understood what their nurse meant when they asked an important question – from 71% who said they “always” did in 2015 down to 70% in 2016.

Having said that, however, patients expressed their belief in nurses has continued to rise.

In 2016, eight out of ten surveyed said they always had faith in their nurse – up from 79% in 2015.

In 2016, 82% said nurses would carry on conversations in front of them as if they were not even there, contrasting with 82% the year before.

Patients, according to the surveyor, The Picker Institute, for the CQC, felt less involved in their cases, and people could not seem to find a hospital staffer who was available to talk to them about their concerns.

Picker Institute’s Jerry King, its chief research officer, said that “From our research we know that communication, involvement and continuity of care are all critical aspects of person centred care. Results continue to show that patients value NHS staff and report good communication in some areas which is positive to see.”

“Nevertheless, the survey highlights declines in patients’ experiences of involvement in their own care and in co-ordination when leaving hospital and this is a concern.

“It is widely reported that the NHS is under pressure and the results highlight a risk that improvements of the past could be lost if trusts and policy makers fail to keep the provision of high quality person centred care a top priority,” she added.

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