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1999 National Survey of NHS Patients: coronary heart disease


National Patients Surveys are an important feature of the Government's drive to improve the quality of care for patients. The second survey involved about 80,000 patients who had been admitted to hospital with coronary heart disease. The questionnaire leads patients, step by step, through their stay in hospital from admission to discharge and allows services to be examined on seven broad dimensions:

  1. Access to care: covering waiting times, admissions.
  2. Physical comfort: in particular pain management.
  3. Hospital environment: was it a comfortable place to be? About food, noise and mixed sex wards.
  4. Information and communication: explanations, leaflets and records.
  5. Patient involvement: the opportunity for discussion with doctors and nurses, including family and carers.
  6. Coordination and continuity: were staff working together?
  7. Discharge and transition: about the pace of recovery, getting home and rehabilitation.

The results of the survey are available through the Department if Health’s website

The Picker Institute published a bulletin 'Improving Patients'. Experience' in July 2001 which reported on the survey and included brief snapshots of examples of 15 local initiatives to improve the quality of care.

The 15 initiatives are listed below. The brief snapshots with contact details are.

Speeding up cardiac care : Creating a rapid access chest pain clinic in Newham, East London

Easing the waiting time for surgery : Introducing a new post at Southampton Hospital to provide support to patients on the waiting list for cardiac surgery.

Setting up a day unit: a way of stopping cancellations : Making sure that admissions are not cancelled at Coventry Hospital

Taking away the pain : Delivering a better pain service at Poole Hospital

Being comfortable in hospital : Better pain control and organisation of cardiac services at Airedale Hospital.

Speeding access to a Coronary Care Unit : Designing direct access to the CCU at Scarborough Hospital

Getting about again : Helping patients getting going again after MI and acute angina at Frimley Hospital

Getting lifestyle advice to Asian patients : Improving communication between the cardiac rehabilitation team at New Cross Hospital and their Asian patients.

Supporting self help rehabilitation : Creating a distance learning rehabilitation package for Papworth Hospital

Patients, objectives drive the care programme : Making a reality of patient-centred care at the Cardiothoracic Centre, Liverpool.

Getting patients involved in designing a Coronary Care Unit : Working with voluntary organisations at the Countess of Chester Hospital, Chester

Supporting patients’ return home after surgery : Developing a home visiting service from Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Empowering patients to manage their heart failure : Preparing patients for discharge from Aintree Hospital

Getting back in shape : Providing a cardiac rehabilitation service for the population of Dudley.

Helping patients help themselves : Developing a cardiac rehabilitation programme in the East Riding of Yorkshire.