Kettering General Hospital has introduced a new way for patients to give feedback about their hospital experience.
The electronic system – called the Feedback Centre – can be accessed by patients via five computer pedestals placed in key areas of the hospital or directly online at http://feedback.kgh.nhs.uk/ using their mobile phone, tablet or computer.
Feedback Centre pedestals can be found in the A&E waiting room, main outpatients, main reception, Rockingham Wing and the Treatment Centre.
Head of patient experience and involvement, James Allan, said: “Millions of people every day use online review systems like TripAdvisor to give their opinion about services or products they have bought or used.
“In a similar way this is an opportunity for people to provide us with additional information about our services so we can build an accurate, up to date, and more complete picture of the way patients experience our individual wards and departments.
“Initially we are using the basic national Friends and Family Test question about recommending an organisation alongside a box for more detailed comments about the service used.
“Over time though we plan to develop more bespoke questions for our different departments – for example different ones for adult and children’s wards – so that we can get a clearer picture of what our patients want and what we can do to improve their care.”
The trust has been piloting the new system for the last three months and has gathered more than 8,000 comments.
Key themes have been positive feedback to specific staff, wards and departments, specific comments about care, food, support and helpfulness of staff, issues with car parking, issues with lack of patient entertainment and waiting times.
James said: “Using the Feedback Centre – along with all the other ways in which we gather information – is helping us to really drill down into the experience of patients and their families in greater detail.
“From the themes emerging already we have started to explore how we can improve patient entertainment, car parking and waiting times.
“We share the information gathered with our service managers and ward matrons so they have an up to date picture of how people are experiencing their care.
“This will enable us to make improvements backed up by the evidence of what patients and their families are saying.”
The website the pedestals link to has been designed especially for KGH with input from their Patient Experience and Involvement Steering Group and Healthwatch Northamptonshire.
Patients who want to feedback – but don’t want to use electronic means – can also use comment cards distributed by our wards and departments which can be inputted into the system.
The new system comes in addition to other traditional feedback methods which the hospital also uses such as its Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS) service, compliments and complaints service, Patient Experience and Involvement Steering Group, national patient experience surveys, ward questionnaires and the NHS Choices website.
Ian Hughes is head of business development at EKKO, the company which provides the Feedback Centre to NHS trusts like KGH.
He said: “At EKKO, we understand that every NHS trust we work with wants to create their own story and vision based on local needs and partnerships.
“Working collaboratively, and with the right support and focus, innovative ideas can be transformed to deliver real results to the NHS and our system has been planned carefully, to offer a future-proof approach to engagement, reporting and cyber-security.
“We look forward to supporting the trust with its strategic and operational objectives, built on a foundation of safe, high quality care to its communities.”
Each year KGH looks after more than 40,000 inpatients and 38,000 day-case patients.
It has 235,000 outpatients contacts and 83,000 visitors to their A&E department.
They say more than 3,600 women give birth within the Rockingham Wing so it is very important for them to have a clear picture of how patients and their families are experiencing our care.