Cumbrian People Have Their Voices Heard

Cumbrian patients and carers are the first in the UK to have a ‘trip advisor’ for all their health care.

A website was launched on Tuesday September 23rd which allows Cumbrians to comment on and rate their healthcare across the county.

The site, commissioned by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), will build into an invaluable resource for patients and health practitioners.

Patient feedback is fast becoming a key measure of quality in health services.

The NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group website allows patients to leave comments and rank their experience with a simple five-star rating.

All comments and ratings will be posted for anyone to review and read.

Patients of all ages will be able to leave their comments whether they have visited their GP or had a spell in hospital.

Children across the county have been using the system for six months and have recorded their experiences widely.

NHS Cumbria CCG lay member and lead for patient and public engagement, Jon Rush, said the website marked a major step forward in making sure the patient voice was heard loud and clear.

“The CCG is responsible for spending Cumbria’s health money as wisely as we can. Patient feedback will help us understand how people really feel about the service they receive. It also helps doctors and health professional stay connected to their patients. Comments they receive are proven to improve the quality of service” said Jon.

Cumbria CCG chair Dr Hugh Reeve said the website would be invaluable for patients and a real help to doctors and health care commissioners.

“All good doctors listen to their patients. This system provides an independent and transparent source of information. That helps us improve services in real-time and ensure patients have the best possible experience, regardless of where they are seen or treated in the Cumbrian health service.”

CCG GP lead for patient engagement, Dr Rachel Preston added: “This is a great day for patients and ensuring their voice is heard by clinicians and decision-makers. It will help us all to connect better with patients, their families and carers and give us a real understanding of their views and aspirations. It means patients’ feedback can be acted on almost instantly, so we can put things right when people tell us services might not be up to scratch.”

The system has been working at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal and Furness General in Barrow for the past six months.

Nurse Kelly Little, patient engagement lead for University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust, said: “The feedback we have had has been amazing. It has boosted staff morale as most people are really kind and grateful for the service they receive. That’s positive feedback we might never have seen without this system. But it also provides very useful suggestions for improvements and where things might have gone a bit wrong. We can act on that information very quickly and make sure the care we give is as good as we can make it.”

The website has the full support of all health providers in Cumbria.

Annie Laverty, Director of Patient Experience at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, said: “We welcome this website as it complements the patient experience system we already have in our hospitals. It will allow patients to see how their services perform and be a good addition to the detailed feedback we receive from patients. The hospitals trust is committed to listening to patients and using what they say to drive improvements.”

Dr Sara Munro, Executive Director of Quality and Nursing at Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust, added: “Patients, relatives and carers who use our community and mental health services will welcome the opportunity to feedback on their care. We value what patients say about their experience of healthcare and are committed to ensuring their comments are used to raise standards.”

Dr Neil Bacon, Founder and Chief Executive of iWantGreatCare – the provider of the website service – said: “It is a great honour to have helped NHS Cumbria CCG establish this unique website. We know, because we work with more than 50 acute and community trusts in England and Wales, that patients value the transparency and usefulness of shared experience and feedback.”

The Cumbrian iWantGreatCare website is now live via this link http://cumbriapatients.iwgc.net.