Worst NHS Hospitals & GP Surgeries
The NHS is often a topic for scrutiny. Barely a day goes by where one doesn’t open up the newspaper or browse an online publication and see some form of criticism scrawled across the headlines. There’s the lack of funding, crippling shift patterns, over-stretched services, and of course we couldn’t forget the agonising waiting times to see a GP; you name it, people are moaning about it. And before you know it, winter will be on our doorsteps and the health service will be facing even more problems.
Here at Hopewiser we love everything about addresses, therefore, we thought we’d take a look at where some of the worst NHS hospitals and GP surgeries in the UK are located. Through various research, we found that a significant proportion of patients in Wales are suffering from long waiting times in A&E departments. Recent figures released by the Welsh Government show the percentages of patients whom spend more than 4 hours in A&E, and also those whom spend more than 12 hours.
Taking into consideration the government’s target that 95% of patients should spend no longer than four hours in A&E, and no patient whatsoever should be in A&E for longer than 12 hours, 46% of patients at Wrexham Maelor exceeded the 4 hour target during July 2018. The second worst for waiting times was Ysbyty Glan Clwyd with 45.5% of their patients being made to wait longer than 4 hours. Both of these hospitals are run by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. According to the stats, the third worst A&E department for waiting times is Royal Gwent in Newport at 31.4%.
Whilst the percentage of patients whom spent more than 12 hours in A&E in July was significantly lower, the fact that the set target was to have zero patients exceeding this time frame shows that there were a number of hospitals that performed badly. The worst offenders were, again, Wrexham Maelor at 10.5% and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd at 5.6%. Royal Gwent Hospital was the third highest again with 4.6%. In fact, a total of 2,148 patients across Wales spent 12 hours or more in A&E during July. This was measured from arrival until admission, transfer, or discharge.
Elsewhere in the UK, Kent has a number of hospitals that are suffering the second worst A&E waiting times in the entire country, with approximately 146 patients per day being forced to wait for more than 4 hours at QEQM in Thanet and Ashford’s William Harvey earlier this year. Other hospitals in the area have been rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) from the good to the inadequate.
Whilst inspectors commended many of them in terms of their level of care towards patients, the health officials expressed that some hospitals required improvement with regards to safety, effectiveness, responsiveness, and leadership. Falling under this category were Kent and Canterbury Hospital, William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, QEQM in Margate, and The Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury. Albeit their ratings weren’t completely negative, it is important that they improve on the requisite areas highlighted by the CQC.
It isn’t only A&E departments that are suffering from increased criticism, as the quality of GP surgeries have been rated by patients themselves. The Chester Chronicle reported earlier this week that 1,946 patients took part in a survey from the NHS South Cheshire clinical commissioning group (CCG) area. This includes Nantwich, Alsager, Crewe, Sandbach, and Middlewich.
On the whole, the results showed that patients generally felt as though they received a good level of service. Whilst The Surgery in Wrenbury was ranked the best in the area with 99% of participants stating they had a good overall experience, The Kiltearn Medical Centre in Nantwich was the lowest-ranked with 75% of patients claiming to have had a good overall experience. Whilst 75% isn’t a shockingly low figure, it is considerably lower than other surgeries in the area. Therefore, it’s their prerogative to assess the ways in which they can improve this rating to compete with others in the surrounding area. Otherwise, they will run the risk of losing patients.
However, Dr Jonathan Griffiths, chairman of NHS South Cheshire CCG stated, “The geographical location of each practice along with quirky historical preferences by patients means that every practice has a unique demographic make-up. The ability of the practice to meet the needs and expectations of the population it serves therefore varies considerably.”
Other GP surgeries were rated by patients in the Northwich area between January and March 2018. 937 people took part in the GP Patient Survey, and results showed that Witton Street had been voted the best practice in the town with 93% of participants saying they’d received a good overall experience. However, Weaverham Surgery was ranked the lowest with 62% claiming to have had a good experience. Again, whilst this figure doesn’t set off alarm bells, it highlights an even larger gap between the best and worst surgeries than the ones in South Cheshire.
According to the Northwich Guardian, Weaverham Surgery has been voted the worst practice in every GP Patient Survey since 2013, which is rather worrying as it would make some people question the level of care that they are providing. That said, their ratings have increased by 4% from 58% in 2017 to 62% in 2018.
Do you know of any of the practices or hospitals that we’ve mentioned here today? Or perhaps you’re registered at one or have attended in the past? What are your thoughts on their standards? We’d be interested to hear your opinions.
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