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News

Tullamore Hospital Responds to Patient Feedback

The Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore (MRHT) will again this year participate in the National Patient Experience Survey. Pictured at the Hospital on Thursday for the launch of the 2019 survey were management and staff greeting HIQA’s Rachel Flynn.

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The annual survey — the largest of its kind in Ireland — offers patients the opportunity to share their experiences in hospital and tell us what improvements they believe are necessary. This provides a clear picture of the safety and quality of care in Irish hospitals, as seen through the eyes of patients.

An estimated 28,000 patients will be eligible to participate in this year’s survey —786 inpatients in the Offaly facility.

408 patients from Tullamore Hospital took part in last year’s survey, a response rate of 53%. Overall, patients’ ratings of their experiences at Tullamore Hospital were above the national average. 87% of patients at Tullamore Hospital said they had a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ experience, compared with 84% nationally. The survey found that patients in Tullamore Hospital felt they were treated with a high level of respect and dignity (93%) and had confidence and trust in the hospital staff caring for them (91%). The areas that patients highlighted as needing improvements included waiting times before admission to hospital, that we need to improve how we communicate when discussing tests and procedures, and that patients need better information before leaving the hospital.

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According to Noreen Hynes, General Manager, MRHT commented: “The Patient Experience Survey is a vital indicator which shows us what we do well, but more importantly, illustrates the areas that we need to improve upon for our patients. Our focus this year has been on our patients experience as they are being admitted to the hospital, through the development of our Acute Medical Assessment Unit, our Transit Lounge, and our Frailty Intervention Team. We hope that the 2019 survey will reflect improvements in this area, and look forward to our patient’s feedback again this year.”

These 2018 findings have informed quality improvement initiatives for 2019/2020 at Tullamore Hospital including;

  • The introduction of a Frailty Intervention Team (FIT) allows frail elderly adults attending the Emergency Department to be identified upon presentation, and to provide early interventions to this vulnerable group, thereby improving their hospital experience, overall outcomes and waiting times.
  • The enhanced Discharge Lounge at MRHT which also creates a valuable opportunity to discuss patients concerns and questions before they leave hospital.
  • A training programme in Customer Care has been rolled out in 2019. This provides staff with enhanced communication skills, and highlights the importance of making every communication with patients and their families count.
  • An information leaflet for patients leaving hospital has been developed by a multi-disciplinary group at MRHT. This outlines what patients can expect as they are being discharged.
  • The National Healthcare Communication Programme has been promoted by the management team at MRHT, with several staff across a range of disciplines enrolled in the programme. Those staff can then train others in the hospital, ensuring that we have the internal expertise to improve our communication skills across the hospital.
  • We have also enrolled a number of staff to undertake the new HSE funded education programme for patient advocates. This will allow skilled staff to act as advocates for patients and their families at times when they feel vulnerable or need support.

Trevor O’Callaghan, Group CEO Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said, “The 2018 results of the National Patient Experience Survey reflect the values and principles outlined in our Hospital Group Strategy. I would like to commend all our hospitals on their individual results; they excelled in different areas. The results provide clear markers for improvement and this is very important and worthwhile work and it will take time for these improvements to be realised. I wish to thank staff for their commitment to improving our patient’s experience. We would again encourage our patients to participate in this year’s survey – your feedback is very important to us and provides us with important information on how we can continue to improve patient care and build on positive patient experience,” he concluded.

For further information on the National Patient Experience Survey visit www.patientexperience.ie or follow @NPESurvey @HSELive #patientexperience #listeningrespondingimproving

1: National Patient Experience Survey team visit to Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, pictured left to right: Marguerite Dooley, ADON Patient Flow, MRHT; Orlagh Claffey, Chief Operations Officer, Dublin Midlands Hospital Group; Brendan Reddy, Quality & Patient Safety Manager, MRHT; Margaret Brennan, HSE; Rachel Flynn, HIQA; and Noreen Hynes, General Manager, MRHT.

2: Ann Marie Benson, physio at Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, talking to the National Patient Experience Survey team about the frailty pathway and reducing hospital admissions based on the feedback from the Survey, pictured left to right: Ann Marie Benson, Physio, MRHT; Rachel Flynn, HIQA; Margaret Brennan, HSE; Orlagh Claffey, Chief Operations Officer, Dublin Midlands Hospital Group; Marguerite Dooley, ADON Patient Flow, MRHT; Brendan Reddy, Quality & Patient Safety Manager, MRHT; and Noreen Hynes, General Manager, MRHT.