Patient feedback encouraging about emergency care services in Doncaster

Experiences of local emergency and out-of-hours services in the Borough have been rated mostly positive by patients, in a new report published by Healthwatch Doncaster.

The independent voice organisation for people who use Doncaster health and care services visited local emergency and out of hours services including an overnight visit to Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s (DRI) Emergency Department.

Staff and volunteers spoke to patients and relatives about their experiences using a conversational approach rather than asking specific questions, in order to get an accurate picture of service provision from a patient’s perspective.

The visits also included Mexborough and DRI’s Urgent Treatment Centres alongside surveys for people attending the Same Day Health Centre located at Cavendish Court. Emergency Care Practitioners distributed questionnaires with reply paid enveloped to recipients of the service.

Sandie Hodson, Engagement Officer and Volunteer co-ordinator said: “We were very pleased to be able to go behind the scenes in the Emergency Department at DRI to see first-hand how the department copes with a high volume of patients attending.

“Some patients that we spoke to did tell us that they had been on the department for a long time, but without exception this was backed up by them saying that they could understand the reason for this as the department was so busy.”

The main themes to emerge from the engagement across services were:

  • Emergency Department at DRI: Patients commented about waiting times and lack of communication but that staff were caring and professional.
  • Urgent Treatment Centre at Mexborough Montagu: Patients were pleased with waiting times but some expressed dissatisfaction around parking charges.
  • Same Day Health Centre: Patients praised ease of access to the service but some had issues with the triage process.
  • Urgent Treatment Centre at DRI: Patients were generally happy being re-directed to the centre and consequently spared a lengthy wait in the Emergency Department.

“People who use the services also told us that the staff treating them were caring and professional, that although they were busy they were coping well under pressure. This was backed up by our own observations,” said Sandie, who was project lead for the work.

Recommendations including improving drinks provisions at the Emergency Department and a review of the triage process at the Same Day Health Centre will be followed up with service providers.

The full findings of the investigation can be found in the report which will be distributed to Urgent and Emergency Care providers and other key stakeholders.

The full report is available at: https://www.healthwatchdoncaster.org.uk/urgentandemergencycarereport