'Worsening' noise at night for patients at Doncaster hospital wards

Hospital staff at work on the corridors
Hospital staff at work on the corridors

Health bosses have drawn up an action plan after a survey raised concerns about issues including night time noise and toilet cleanliness.

They are among five issues where patients believe the hospital has moved backwards, according to a patient survey looking at 2016.

The overall rating of the hospital in general had not deteriorated - but five categories showed figures given by patients in their ratings have fallen between 2015 and 2016.

They were:

* Patients bothered by noise at night from other patients;

* Cleanliness of toilets and bathrooms;

* Getting understandable answers to questions from nurses;

* Notice given about discharge;

* Time between arrival and getting a bed on a ward;

A spokesman for the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: "The overall experience of our inpatients has not deteriorated, scoring 8.1 out of 10 in the survey, with some really excellent high scores about the people treating them - for example 8.9 out of 10 said they had confidence and trust in the doctors treating them and 8.8 out of 10 had confidence and trust in the nurses.

"We acknowledge that there are always areas for improvements, including those highlighted in the survey."

Now a number of actions have been planned to turn around the areas which had been said to have deteriorated.

Bosses say the issue of noise at night from other patients is a challenging area as the hospital care for patients who may disturb others.

But the spokesman said: "We endeavour to minimise this for the benefit of all of our patients, ensuring staff are aware of small changes that can make the difference, such as turning down the volume on the ward phone at night, so it can still be heard but is not as loud.

For the toilets and bathrooms, there has been a revision to how the service team who are responsible for cleaning work and are recruited. The hospital says recent audits now show improvements.

The trust says it has focused on improving communication in a bid to help patients get more understandable answers to questions from nurses, and this had been distributed across the organisation through the Heads of Nursing.

They say they recognise that improving communication and expectations is required regarding patient discharge. The trust aims to keep patients in hospital for no longer than they need to be, and to try to update them on the progress with their condition. There are local discharge coordinators to assist with the process.

To try to cut the time between arrival and getting a bed on a ward, bosses are working with community services to help reduce unnecessary admissions to hospitals. "There are times when the hospital is under pressure due to excessive demands and this can cause delays," said the spokesman.