Overall patient experience at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) is the best in the country – according to the findings of a major national report published today.

The Adult Inpatient Survey is produced annually by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who monitor, regulate and inspect health and social care services in England.

It is based on feedback from almost 77,000 people who had a spell as a hospital inpatient during July 2019 – months before covid-19 made its presence felt.

RJAH has been named by the CQC as one of just nine organisations placed in the top band of Trusts delivering results that are considered “much better than expected”, with patient experience that is substantially better than elsewhere. It is also classed as “much better” in both medical care and surgery.

The Oswestry-based hospital received responses which were better than most Trusts in 54 of the 60 questions included in the survey which were relevant to its services, and worse than most Trusts in none.

Highlights include top scoring for overall patient experience with an average mark of 9.23 out of 10.

Staff across the Trust were championed by patients responding to the survey. Its doctors were rated as the best in the country and its nurses came out on top for inspiring confidence and trust. Other clinical staff (including physiotherapists and radiographers) were also rated No 1, while even non-clinical staff came out on top for the way they look after patients.

The hospital’s wards and rooms are also ranked as the cleanest in the country, while patients rated its food as the best as well – for the 14th time in the last 15 years.

Stacey Keegan, Acting Chief Executive, said: “The Adult Inpatient Survey gives a snapshot into a world before covid-19. Things have changed a lot since then, but one factor that has stayed constant is our focus on patient experience.

“This survey is a very useful tool for all NHS organisations, as it gives us a strong measure of exactly what our patients think about us.

“It covers everything from the clinical care we provide to how clean the wards are and how good the food is, so it really is a comprehensive analysis of everything we do.

“The results we have seen in the 2019 report published today, reflect what we have seen in recent years – and it certainly makes very good reading.

“Covid-19 has forced us to do things differently – in the way we use technology to keep in touch with patients, for example. There is no going back from that, and I hope that when this survey is repeated again, we will be able to show that we are continuing to improve and continuing to put the patient at the heart of what we do.”

The Adult Inpatient Survey 2019 involved 143 NHS acute trusts in the country, and reveals what 76,915 adults who had stayed in hospital for at least one night during July last year said about the care they received.

It asked people to give their opinions on the care they received, including quality of information and communication with staff, whether they were given enough privacy, the amount of support given to help them eat and drink and assist with personal hygiene, and on their discharge arrangements.

A total of 1,250 were asked to complete the survey at RJAH and 882 returned it. This equates to a response rate of 71% – well above the national average of 45%.

Chris Morris, Interim Director of Nursing, said: “I have only been in post since the early weeks of the pandemic, but in that time I have already seen so clearly the passion that all of our staff – clinical and non-clinical – have for the delivery of world class patient care.

“It is wonderful to see that passion and that commitment reflected so clearly in the results of this Inpatient Survey.

“We will use this report to celebrate our strengths, but also to help shape our areas for improvement so that we can continue to raise the bar and give our patients the experience they deserve every time they come through our doors.”

Full details of the Adult Inpatient Survey 2019 can be found online at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/surveys/adult-inpatient-survey-2019

Pictured: Celebrating being No 1 are, from left, Danielle Birch, Macmillan Specialist Physiotherapist; Donna St John, Oswald Ward Manager; Fiona Roberts, Staff Nurse; Glenys Lawrence, Staff Nurse; and Rhys Morris, Registrar in Trauma and Orthopaedics (Tumour).