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Children's survey finds good care but highlights inequalities

Published:
1 July 2015
Categories:
  • Public,
  • Hospitals

Almost 19,000 children and young people who stayed in hospital overnight or were seen as a day patient took part in our first children and young person’s survey

The findings published today (1 July 2015) highlight that the vast majority of children and young people said they were happy with the care received, thought staff did everything possible to control their pain and they understood the information given to them by staff.

However, children with physical or learning disabilities, or mental health needs reported poorer experiences of care than those without.

Nationally, the results from the 137 acute NHS trusts which took part in the survey shows:

  • Almost nine out of ten of all eight to fifteen year olds said that they felt safe on the ward at all  times
  • 91% of parents or carers said they felt that their child was always safe
  • 80% of all eight to fifteen year olds told us that staff did everything they could to help control their pain
  • Almost three quarters  of children and young people who have had surgery or a procedure received explanations about what had happened in a way that was easy for them to understand

Some of the findings that indicated relatively poorer quality of care include:

  • 41% of parents and carers felt staff were not always aware of their child’s medical history before treating them
  • 43% of 12 to 15 year olds told us that they were not fully involved in decisions about their care
  • Over one third (35%) of parents and carers said that they were not definitely encouraged to be involved in decisions about their child’s care and treatment
  • Less than half the children between 8-15 (45%) liked the food on offer
  • Almost one in three (32%) parents or carers said that staff were not always available when their child needed attention
  • Over four in ten children aged 8-11 (42%) said staff did not play or do any activities with them while in hospital

Commenting on the findings, Professor Edward Baker, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:

“There is much to celebrate in our first survey to ask children and young people about their care.

“Nationally, most young people and children said they were happy with their care, are able to understand the information given by staff following an operation or procedure, and that they have confidence staff are doing everything they can to manage their pain.

“However, there is marked variation between the results from individual hospitals. We have now inspected the majority of children’s hospital services in England, and those inspections have also shown marked variation in the quality of care provided.

“We’re encouraging more children and young people to share their experiences of care with us, and along with our inspections, these are crucial to help drive improvements in the quality of children’s services.”

Responses were less positive across all areas that involved children with mental health conditions, learning or physical disabilities, compared to the children and parents or carers of children without these conditions.

The results show:

  • 45% of parents and carers of children with physical disabilities and 49% of parents and carers of children with mental health conditions or learning disabilities thought staff were aware of their child’s medical history before caring for them or treating them, compared with 59% for parents or carers of children without these conditions
  • Less than half of parents and carers of children with a physical disability, mental health needs or a learning disability felt that staff definitely knew how to care for their child’s individual needs. This compares to 72% of parents and carers of children without these conditions.
  • Almost two thirds of parents and carers of children with a physical disability, and 68% of those with children with mental health needs or a learning disability, said the ward had appropriate equipment or adaptations suitable for their child, compared with 81% of parents and carers whose children did not have these needs.

While some trusts performed ‘better than expected’ across many of the questions in the survey, some were consistently ‘worse than expected’. Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in East Grinstead performed ‘better than expected’ in 21 out of the 24 questions it participated in. This was followed by Moorfields Eye Hospital (13), Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (11) East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust (9).

Last updated:
29 May 2017