Background Listening to and acting upon feedback from patients and their parents and carers are vital dimensions of the delivery and design of excellent emergency care for sick and injured children. However, a nationwide staff survey in 2019 found that just 58.2% of staff in acute hospitals reported that feedback from service users was used to make informed decisions in their department. This study is the first part of a wider programme of work to increase patient and parent engagement in the Children’s Emergency Department (CED).
Objectives To understand how patients and their parents/carers want to give feedback on their experiences in the CED, to inform the future development of a dedicated CED patient feedback tool.
Methods A questionnaire was designed in digital and paper formats with input from the hospital patient experience team. The questionnaire consisted of multiple choice and free-text questions. The paper questionnaire was offered to patients attending the CED over a six day period, and a poster advertising a Quick Response code enabling patients and parents to give feedback via a digital questionnaire was placed on the waiting room wall for fourteen days.
Results 51 responses (40 paper responses and 11 electronic) were obtained. 15.7% (8/51) of responses were completed by patients themselves, and 84.3% (43/51) were completed an accompanying parent or guardian.
54.9% (28/51) of responses related to pre-school age patients, 21.6% (11/51) related to primary school age patients, and 23.5% (12/51) related to secondary school aged children.
More than half of patients/parents (26/51) reported never having given feedback on hospital services in the past, and 33.3% (17/51) reported that they had previously given feedback. 15.7% (8/51) patients/parents were not sure whether they had given feedback before.
35.2% (18/51) of respondents reported that they did not know how to give feedback on their experiences in CED.
When asked how they would like to feed back on their experiences in the Children’s ED, a clear majority of respondents (62.7%, 32/51) stated that they would like to give feedback using a phone/mobile device, and more than a third (18/51) wanted to use email. See table 1 below.
Conclusions This study indicates that there is scope to increase the number of patients and parents who give feedback on their experiences in the Children’s Emergency Department, and clearly demonstrates the importance of access to digital methods and raising awareness to enable this. Combining this with the staff survey results in the second part of our study, we have designed a new tool for obtaining patient feedback. This tool will be piloted, and further work will be undertaken to evaluate whether improvements in the quantity and quality of patient feedback are achieved.
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