Survey reveals patients in East of England are satisfied with ambulance care received

Latest ambulance patient satisfaction figures from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) reveal almost 100% of patients are happy with the care given to them.

Patients across the region were asked about how EEAST cared for them, with 99.1% responding they were very satisfied or satisfied with the overall level of service they received.

The survey, carried out in July, also revealed that 99.1% of patients believed the staff they came into contact with were very professional, and 100% said they were treated with dignity and respect.

Almost 96% felt their call was handled either acceptably or very acceptably, and 90% felt the same for the time they waited for a response. However, within Essex, 13.3% of respondents felt the way their call was handled was unacceptable and 6.7% very unacceptable. Additionally, 7.7% of patients in Essex believed the time waited for a response was unacceptable and 7.7% very unacceptable.

Chief Executive, Robert Morton, said:

‘Each and every day my colleagues demonstrate the best that we could wish for, including their ongoing commitment to provide safe and effective services to the community.’

Generally the comments in the survey from patients were positive. One patient said: ‘This showed the NHS at its best when needed.’

Another said: ‘I have always experienced the ambulance service to be extremely professional, always in control, know exactly what needs to be done and above all else, always put the patient at ease; a job well done on every occasion.’

However, not all respondents felt the same way. One woman, recalling the treatment her husband received, said:

‘The ambulance person did not have sufficient dressings in his case, we had to supply some of our own. Also we waited nearly 45 minutes for someone to arrive, even though the operator was informed my husband was taking warfarin and was bleeding profusely.’

Another disagreed with the professional manner of the staff:

‘The man that came out to see me made a comment that was very unnecessary.’

He added: ‘The comments we have received from patients show that we are constantly striving to improve the service which is already of a very high standard. I would also like to thank everyone for taking the time to give us feedback; these surveys help us build a better ambulance service for the future.’

Elsewhere in the survey, 5.1% of respondents did not feel involved in decisions regarding their care, and 2.3% said their journey in the ambulance was uncomfortable.

Patients within the East of England are surveyed each month by the Patient Experience Team. Out of 375 patient experience surveys issued for the month of July, 117 individuals responded. Questions covered what medical care contact patients had before calling 999, the level of dignity and respect they were treated with, cleanliness, and privacy.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 22 October 2015.

UNISON survey reveals stress among ambulance staff

Nine in ten ambulance workers are suffering from stress, according to a recent survey carried out by trade union UNISON.

The online survey, which was completed by 2,977 ambulance workers, revealed that causes of stress among staff were long hours (71%), staff shortages (65%), mental demands of the job (45%), target culture (52%), physical demand of the job (40%), bullying and harassment (25%), and abuse of violence at work (15%).

The survey also revealed that 74% suffer from sleep problems, 72% felt irritable as a result and experience mood swings, and 56% suffer from anxiety.

Additionally, 38% said they had to take time off sick because of work-related stress and 26% admitted they were close doing so.

UNISON, which represents 20,000 ambulance workers in the UK, have raised concerns that employers are not fulfilling their duty of care, as more than half of respondents said they were unaware of any steps being taken by their employer to remove or reduce stress.

UNISON head of health, Christina McAnea, said:

‘Working in emergency services is stressful but the pressure on ambulance staff is reaching dangerously high levels.

‘It is unacceptable that the current system doesn’t allow for proper breaks between shifts,’ she added. ‘Workers have told us they often work 14-hour shifts without a decent break.’

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at mental health charity Mind, said:

‘This data reveals the worrying scale of stress among ambulance workers, and echoes our findings which revealed the extent of stress and mental health problems across all emergency services personnel.’

Last month, Mind launched its Blue Light Programme, a major new programme of mental health support for emergency services staff after being awarded £4 million of funding from the Cabinet Office.

The programme aims to focus on tackling stigma and discrimination, embedding workplace wellbeing, building resilience, and providing information and support.

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 30 April 2015.

Why Brains Matter

The Neurological Alliance launched a survey entitled ‘Our Brains Matter’ as part of the 2013 Brain Awareness Week, 11-17 March.

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

The aim of the Our Brains Matter survey is to develop a clear picture of the experience of being diagnosed with a neurological condition in the UK. With the evidence gathered, the Neurological Alliance will push for improvements in the diagnosis of all neurological conditions.

The Neurological Alliance is the collective voice for 10 million children, young people and adults in England with a neurological condition. It is a membership organization consisting of more than 70 national brain and spine organizations.

The coalition of charities has warned that a ‘legacy of neglect’ is preventing an estimated 12 million people living with neurological conditions in the UK from gaining vital treatment.

According to the Neurological alliance this is due to a lack of specialist knowledge and haphazard services.

‘Around one in six people in the UK will experience a neurological condition in their lifetime,’ explains Arlene Wilkie, Chief Executive of the Neurological Alliance, ‘Yet little is being done to ensure that the NHS is fit for purpose when it comes to responding to these complex conditions.’

Taken from Practice Nursing, published 19 Mar 2013.