Praise, but patient unit comes bottom

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PATIENTS have given a positive report of Morpeth Cottage Hospital’s Whalton Unit.

But the facility has come bottom of the seven hospitals run by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The results come from the new NHS Friends and Family Test, which asks people to rate hospital services based on their own experiences.

The Whalton Unit, based in Foxton Court care home, provides rehabilitation for elderly patients and palliative care.

Information published by NHS England for April to June reveals that 53 per cent of those questioned about the unit would be extremely likely to recommend it, and another 32 per cent would be likely to.

Just five per cent of the inpatients said they would be extremely unlikely to recommend its services, five per cent gave no view and another five per cent said they didn’t know either way.

However, despite the largely positive feedback, the facility came bottom within the Trust, with hospitals in Alnwick, Berwick, Blyth, Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck all having higher percentages for recommendations.

Across the trust, an average of 96 per cent of inpatients responding to the survey would recommend the services they received, and 88 per cent of those who responded who used A&E departments would do so.

Just one per cent of the inpatients would be unlikely to recommend services, rising to five per cent of those who used A&E.

The response rate for the trust was one of the highest in the country at more than 20 per cent.

The survey is one of a number of methods used by the trust to obtain patient feedback and a comprehensive programme has been in place for the past three years, including talking to patients while they are still in hospital and surveying them two weeks after they have left.

Trust Director of Patient Experience Annie Laverty said: “We are very passionate about listening to our patients and really understanding what matters most to them.”