CQC national report: Confidence and trust in hospital staff high but overall improvements in people’s inpatient experience have stalled

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published the findings of their annual survey of people who have stayed as an inpatient in hospital.
Woman smiling waiting in a hospital

The results of the CQC survey show that most people had confidence in the doctors and nurses treating them and felt that staff answered their questions clearly.

However, across the majority of questions asked in the survey there has been no improvement since it was last carried out, and this year’s results show an increase in those reporting lengthy delays, greater dissatisfaction with the amount of information provided when leaving hospital, and those who felt a lack of involvement in their care.

The results of the 2018 inpatient survey, involving 144 NHS acute trusts in England, reveal what over 75,000 adults who had stayed in hospital for at least one night during July last year said about the care they received.

Key findings:

  • Most respondents (80%) felt they had “always” been treated with dignity and respect during their hospital stay (82% in 2017) and only 2% said they were not given enough privacy when being examined (unchanged since 2017).
  • Of those who had an operation while in hospital, 80% said that staff answered their questions in a way they could understand “completely”. While this remains high, it has dropped slightly from 81% who said this in 2017.
  • More than two thirds of those surveyed (69%) said they “always” had confidence in the decisions made about their condition or treatment, a decrease from 71% in 2017.
  • Just over a third (40%) of patients surveyed left hospital without written information telling them how to look after themselves after discharge (up from 38% in 2017), and of those who were given medication to take home, 44% were not told about the possible side effects to watch out for.
  • Only 15% of respondents said that they had been asked to give their views on the quality of care received during their stay, compared to 20% in 2017, and around half (54%) felt they were definitely involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment, down from 56% in 2017.
  • Of those surveyed, 39% said they had to wait a long time before getting a bed (16% “definitely”, and 23 % “to some extent”). The proportion of those satisfied with the time they had to wait has decreased since last year (63% in 2017, down to 61% in 2018).
  • Of the 41% of people who said that their discharge from hospital was delayed, over a quarter (26%) said they were delayed for longer than four hours. This is up from 24% in 2017.
  • In 2018, fewer people said they had discussions with staff about the need for further health and social care services after they had been discharged (80% in 2018, compared to 81% in 2017). And, almost a quarter (24%) said they did not get enough support from health and social care professionals to manage their condition once they were back at home.

The responses to the 2018 survey show that patients admitted as an emergency reported a particularly poor experience of receiving information. Nine per cent said they had not been given “any” information about their condition and treatment while in A&E (8% in 2017) and 17% said they had not been given “enough” information 15% in 2017). In addition, responses were less positive across many question areas for younger patients (under 50-years old) and for those with a mental health condition.

As well as a report of the national findings, CQC has published the results for each of the 144 individual trusts that took part, and a report identifying those trusts that have performed better or worse across the survey overall, so that people can see how their local services performed.

Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

Talk to us