HOSPITAL food and noisy wards, along with long waits in A&E, are among the top gripes of Lothian patients, according to a new study.
The latest Scottish Government survey also found increasing complaints of not being given help with transport home from hospital.
But there was good news for NHS Lothian in the Better Together report, as almost all patients said they were treated with care, wards were clean and that they were able to keep their privacy and dignity intact.
This year’s results – based on a survey of 1800 patients – shows improvement in some areas, but the issue of patient transport remains one of the main concerns.
Dr Jean Turner, director of the Scotland Patients Association, said: “I’m not surprised that there are concerns over transport, that’s something we receive a lot of calls about.
“For me it’s an easy thing to sort – the NHS should be able to organise a system that works.”
The study asked patients to rate their experiences in a number of areas and, overall, 86 per cent rated their experience in hospital as positive.
Those surveyed were least satisfied when asked if they were told how long they would have to wait in A&E, with 48 per cent rating this positively.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said: “Fortunately, the vast majority of people are satisfied with the important thing – the quality of clinical treatment they receive. But that’s not to say having to endure time on a noisy ward, or having uncertainty around how long they have to wait in casualty, is something that should be happening.”
Carol Crowther, chief nurse of quality and professional standards, said: “The results of this survey show that patients in Lothian are generally happy with the levels of care we provide.
“Since these survey results were gathered, we have already put in place a number of initiatives that will help improve patient experience.
“We have reinforced to staff the need to keep patients regularly updated on progress during their time in the emergency department and we have established a hub, in collaboration with the Scottish Ambulance Service, to coordinate transport requests for inpatients.
“We are committed to providing the best possible care for patients and this survey will help us to achieve that goal.”
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