LSTM’s Dr Tom Wingfield has led a team of doctors and student doctors at the Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust in recording the satisfaction levels of patients being treated for COVID-19.
The results of the survey, which was carried out during the first wave of infections in Liverpool between March and June 2020, have been published in the Future Healthcare Journal. As a result of this project the team have put together an educational bundle including a COVID-19 “Practice Pointers” infographic to help improve care further, as well as making the survey template available for use by other NHS Trusts.
Dr Wingfield said: “The perspectives of people with COVID-19 have been overlooked during the pandemic. To our knowledge this is the first peer reviewed report about the perceptions of patients being treated for COVID-19 in a UK hospital. Overall, the satisfaction with the care they received from healthcare professionals was extremely high, and patients felt safe on the wards. This is particularly encouraging given the pressures on the NHS at the time. What we have learnt from the survey, we are putting into practice and we hope that other settings might be able to use the results to improve the experience of patients being treated for COVID-19.”
Free-text responses suggested that medical and nursing care was highly praised. Although staff delivering food and drink were also praised, quality of food and drink was rated poorly and sleep environment identified as an area for improvement.
Other issues highlighted for improvement included communication about medications and their side-effects and the impact of mask-wearing on communication. There were negative effects due to PPE wear such as depersonalisation and fear, and older patients in particular struggled with isolation they felt while being treated due to no visitors being allowed onto the ward.
Dr Wingfield continued: “Communication on the ward is vital and people hospitalised with COVID-19, especially if hearing impaired, may have difficulties understanding healthcare workers and communicating their own needs. This should be taken into consideration, and as a result, mask-windowing adaptations, increased speaking volume and visual aids should be used when needed. This is vitally important, especially for vulnerable patients, and particularly important given ongoing recruitment into studies trialling novel therapeutic agents.”
The team are currently performing analyses of satisfaction survey findings during the second and third waves of COVID-19 in Liverpool (September 2020 to February 2021) and comparing with those of the first wave. In addition, through collaboration with the Patient Experience team, the survey is being expanded across the hospital and to people with illnesses other than COVID-19. It is hoped that this will support design of further practical interventions to improve holistic care for people while in hospital.
What do people hospitalised with COVID-19 think about their care? Results of a satisfaction survey during the first wave of COVID-19 in Liverpool
Meng-San Wu, Rebecca Watson, Fatima Hayat, Libuse Ratcliffe, Mike BJ Beadsworth, Mark McKenna, Daniel Corney, Catherine Plum, Jamie-Leigh Macfarlane, Maisoon Matareed, Sundas Butt, Sandipika Gupta, Paul Hine, Sylviane Defres, Tom Wingfield
Future Healthc J Feb 2021, fhj.2020-0260; DOI: 10.7861/fhj.2020-0260