NCAHS tops patient survey

IN THE first statewide survey of patients on their experi-ences in hospital, the North Coast Area Health Service has come up trumps – out-rating every other area health service.

The survey asked patients to rank their time in hospital based on a number of criteria.

Overall 74 per cent ofpatients who stayed overnight at a NCAHS hospitaldescribed their stay as either excellent or very good.

Broken down into the different categories, the NCAHS also topped the poll in staff teamwork, courtesy of nurses, availability of nurses, and courtesy of person whoadmitted them.

In the two categories it was not rated number one – treated with dignity and respect, and cleanliness of rooms – the service was well above the State average.

The survey, Insights into Care: Patients’ Perspectives, was one of the recommendations of the Garling Report into the State’s health system.

It asked 20,000 patients 80 questions, including waiting times, use of medication, and admission and discharge procedures.

Greg Hawkins, of Brunswick Heads, spent two weeks in hospital last year and yesterday described the medical and support staff at Byron Hospital as ‘brilliant’.

“They are streets aheads of those in Sydney’s hospitals. I was treated as a human being. They were absolute pearlers,” the 54-year-old said.

North Coast Area Health Service CEO Chris Crawford said the results were ‘a pat on the back and vote of confidence in our clinicians’.

“We are very pleased with the results because it is from a patients’ perspective and it shows they are satisfied with the care they are getting.”

However, the news forpatients is not all good, with the quarterly hospital review released earlier this week finding the NCAHS failed to meet most benchmarks in treating emergency patients within set times.

Mr Crawford said theseresults were affected by the roll-out of the new electronic record system.

“When the July-September report comes out you should find that we are back on track,” he said.

Happy patients

74pc of NCAHS patients said overnight care was very good or excellent.

70pc said teamwork was very good or excellent.

77pc said courtesy of nurses was very good or excellent.



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