Public give their feedback on outpatient services

The Northern Trust has fed back the results of an Outpatient Department survey held earlier this year.  The survey is part of the work underway to improve The Trust’s delivery of outpatient care, ensuring it can meet the changing needs of all service users. The feedback will allow the Trust to make well informed decisions, based on what service users think works well and what needs improvement. 

This survey was the first time the Northern Trust had undertaken a review of this scale of outpatient clinic experience and it received 631 responses.

The Trust will use the findings, which covered a range of topics including overall satisfaction with appointment and provision of follow-up care, to form the basis of planned improvements to outpatient service delivery.

In relation to the time between referral and receiving their appointment letter, 71% of respondents said they were satisfied with the time they waited on their letter, with 18% saying they were unhappy with the time taken. In response the Northern Trust will review those services that have an unacceptable wait time to establish if there are better ways to manage waiting lists and utilise the specialist teams.

Service users were also asked about the provision of follow-up tests ordered at their outpatient appointment. In response to issues around further long waits, the Trust has committed to looking at relevant diagnostic tests early in the patient journey as well as the expansion of ‘one stop’ clinics, to ensure service users receive all they need at one clinic appointment.

The vast majority of those who attended an outpatient appointment (85%) said they were satisfied with their experience, while 9% were unhappy, citing reasons such as excessive waiting times at the clinics or test results not being available. The Northern Trust are looking at ways to reduce waiting times at clinics, the potential for telephone based appointments that allow people to remain at home, and processes to ensure the most relevant and up to date information is available when attending outpatient clinics.

The Trust will continue to seek feedback from service users and provide progress updates on service improvements.  Anyone interested in more information can access the full report here

Notes to Editors:

Last year, there were almost 274,000 outpatients appointments in the Northern Trust, over 182,000 of which were from referrals from GPs or other hospital services. Over 20,000 service users booked an outpatient appointment but did not show up on the day.

Page last updated:07 July 2017