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Happy at hospital

Wairarapa Hospital has outperformed the national averages in an in-patient survey. PHOTO/FILE

Wairarapa Hospital patients happier than most

Story by Soumya Bhamidipati

When it comes to patients feeling looked after, Wairarapa’s health sector is performing well compared with other regions.

According to a report presented at the latest District Health Board meeting, responses to the fourth round of the National Adult In-patient Survey found most Wairarapa Hospital patients felt they had received good care.

Data collected in April and May found 81.4 per cent of patients agreed they were involved as much as they wanted to be in making decisions about their treatment and care, compared with the national figure of 78.9 per cent.

Most [84.8 per cent] also agreed hospital staff included family, whanau, or someone close to the patient in discussions about their care, compared with 77.3 per cent of national respondents.

While 80 per cent agreed they “definitely” had enough information on how to manage their condition or recovery after leaving the hospital, only 70.2 per cent agreed with this nationally.

Finally, 75 per cent of Wairarapa patients agreed they were given understandable information about the possible side effects of medicines or prescriptions they were given, compared with the national average of 62.4 per cent.

This was despite a drop in results for two of the four patient experience focus questions from previous quarters; the February survey found 90 per cent of respondents agreed they were involved in decision-making, as opposed to May’s 81.4 per cent.

The same survey found 85.4 per cent thought hospital staff included family in discussions, a higher figure than the latest 84.8 per cent.

However, the remaining two focus questions had results increase by almost 10 per cent each.

While the February survey found 72.1 per cent of Wairarapa patients agreed they had enough information on managing their condition, this had increased to 80 per cent by May.

Similarly, the number of people who agreed they were given information about possible side effects grew from 63.3 per cent in February to 75 per cent in May.

Overall, Wairarapa Hospital’s highest-scoring questions, all of which had over 94 per cent of respondents in agreement, showed patients felt they were treated with respect and kindness, understood what to expect, and had confidence in hospital staff.

The lowest scoring questions, which still had at least 75 per cent of respondents in agreement, asked about support after leaving the hospital, name pronunciation, and privacy when discussing care.

The Ministry of Health require all DHBs to participate in the quarterly survey of adult inpatients aged over 15, excluding mental health patients. A primary care survey is conducted separately.

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