Belfast Telegraph

Health Minister welcomes publication of first Patient Client Experience report 

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

Health Minister Edwin Poots today welcomed the publication of the first Patient Client Experience Standards Report. 

The Minister said: “It is vital that the public has confidence in our Health and Social Care services which are generally of a very high quality. I want the patients’ views to be listened to, that is why my department has worked with the Public Health Agency (PHA) to take forward work in getting feedback from patients, clients and their families.”

As a result, the PHA has today published its first Patient Client Experience Standards Report, which demonstrates that although healthcare is often highly pressurised, all Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts are ensuring that patient experience remains a priority. 

The report highlights areas of good practice and areas where further improvements are required to enhance the experience of patients and clients. Within the six Health and Social Care Trusts there is a comprehensive programme of work in place to support the implementation of standards of patient and client experience. The core standards set out for review by the DHSSPS are respect, attitude, behaviour, communication, and privacy and dignity.

Mr Poots added: “Patient experience is a key priority for all of us within the Health and Social Care sector. The purpose of this report is to provide a regional review of my Department’s patient and client standards across all HSC Trusts and to identify improvements that would make a difference to patients. It is important that the learning from the report is carried forward into concrete actions.”

Pat Cullen, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at the PHA said: “Overall, patients were satisfied that staff treated them in a courteous and compassionate manner, involved them in decisions and respected their wishes. Patients also generally said that staff were approachable and went the extra mile to portray a calm atmosphere in the midst of busy wards.

She added: “There are areas where improvements would make a real difference to the patient experience. The issues identified by patients that negatively impacted on their experience included not knowing who staff were, frequent interruptions, and how they received and understood information. 

“Poor communication was identified most frequently as an issue, and as a result, the PHA identified four key regional priorities for Trusts to take forward over the next year to improve patient experience. Arrangements will be put in place so that all healthcare professionals introduce themselves to patients and give a clear explanation of their roles prior to and during continued care. Trusts will also reintroduce name badges for staff to ensure patients are aware of who is giving advice and providing their care. Trusts are to address interruptions, particularly at meal times, as patients frequently reported that their food and drink was cold if care was given during this time either to them or another patient.

“The PHA will also work with trusts to review and monitor improvements regarding mixed gender accommodation and nutritional needs of patients.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Patient Client Experience Standards Report can be viewed on the PHA website:

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