Patient fears over nurse numbers
Two fifths of hospital patients have said there were "sometimes or rarely or never" enough nurses on duty to care for them during their stay, a large-scale survey by the health regulator has found.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said its annual poll found that while the majority (84%) of patients were positive about their hospital care, more than 40% expressed concern with the number of nurses available.
Of those who used the call button to alert staff during their stay, almost one in five (18%) said that they experienced waits of more than five minutes before they got help a nd 1% said they never got the help requested.
Two-fifths (42%) said they experienced delays with being discharged from hospital, with the majority (61%) citing the main reason for this as waiting for medicines.
Nearly one in four (23%) of those who were delayed waited for longer than four hours.
The national survey found that o f those for whom this was necessary, almost a fifth (18%) said they would have liked to have spoken to a member of staff about any additional equipment or adaptations in their home they might need after they had left hospital.
The latest survey is based on the replies of more than 59,000 people who stayed in one of 154 acute and specialist NHS trusts in England for at least one night during June, July or August 2014.
More than three-quarters (77%) said they were "always" well looked after, with four in five (80%) saying they "always" had confidence and trust in the doctors treating them, and 78% doing so in nurses.
Professor Edward Baker, deputy chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said: "Despite the pressures facing the NHS, many patients are reporting positive experiences about their care.
"This is not the case in every hospital. The survey demonstrates the significant variation between the best and worst performing trusts. The results match the findings from CQC's inspections which highlight the variation between trusts, and even between services within trusts.
"I strongly urge senior staff to review their results to see where improvements can be made as every patient deserves to receive the best possible care."