Corporate Information

National inpatient survey sees Countess catering getting the thumbs up

Catering pic 2015

A national patient survey published this week shows 87% of patients rating their experiences of care at The Countess as positive.

More than 1,200 people using services at either the Chester or Ellesmere Port hospitals last year were invited to take part in the annual survey, which is delivered by independent researchers at Picker Institute on behalf of national regulators the Care Quality Commission.  A total of 542 individuals responded to the detailed questionnaire which covers everything from admission to hospital, stays on a ward, the behaviours of staff to discharge from hospital. 

The top lines from the survey show:

  • 87% of respondents rated care as seven or more out of 10
  • 96% said the hospital rooms and wards were very or fairly clear
  • 91% said they always had enough privacy when being examined or treated

Statistically the results from Picker Institute show the hospital to be the 44th most improved hospital in the country, with 0.4% fewer patients on average reporting a problem.

Areas showing a significant improvement on results from last year include:

  • Higher levels of satisfaction with hospital food, a result also significantly better than national average
  • Improved privacy and dignity on wards around single sex accommodation and facilities
  • Improved arrangements for when people are discharged from hospital, with patients routinely being told who to contact if worried and better discussions around need for further health or social care services

Areas showing a worsened position from last year include: 

  • Lower levels or satisfaction with admission arrangements to hospital
  • Limited privacy within the Accident and Emergency department
  • Patients experiencing noise at night from other patients on the ward
  • Limited printed information being given to patients about what they should or should not do after leaving hospital
  • Lower levels of patients being asked to give views on the quality of care or information about how to complain

Speaking about the results Director of Nursing and Quality Alison Kelly said:  “This survey always provides us with a really helpful sense-check of what is working well and where there is room for improvement. 

“While our results are very much in keeping with the national picture, this has been an extremely busy year and the survey reflects some fantastic achievements.  Over the last 12 months, our catering team and nutrition leads have tried a range of new initiatives to make our food options more appealing for patients – particularly those who may be malnourished. So it is great to see that their efforts in this area recognised by patients who are enjoying the meals and snacks that we provide.

“We also know that we can always be better. We are reviewing admission arrangements and how we improve the layout of our Accident and Emergency department to support privacy, and these survey results clearly show this must remain an area of focus for us in 2016/17.”

Deputy Director of Nursing Sian Williams added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to those patients who took the time to provide their feedback. We know this is a lengthy survey!

“While it is an annual highlight, there are plenty of other options open for patients who would like to provide us with feedback. Since the report we have introduced a new Friends and Family Test survey to see if you would recommend The Countess. This should be available to everyone attending the hospital – either by phone, text or as a written survey. We are also seeing reviews increasingly left on the hospital Facebook page, or via NHS Choices. Please do let us know how we are doing. We monitor feedback closely – and it is often what motivates us and keeps us going.” 

To find out more about the national inpatient results visit:

The results will also be discussed in more detail at a series of community events attended by the senior nursing team from the Trust this summer.