• Five trusts performed worse than expected for overall patient experience, while six performed better than expected
  • Best and worst performers for ambulance A&E waiting times also revealed
  • Forty per cent of A&E attendees waited more than four hours to be seen

Five trusts have been identified as offering a poor overall experience to patients in their accident and emergency departments, based on a new Care Quality Commission patient survey.

The Care Quality Commission’s 2016 emergency department patient experience survey ranked each trust “better”, “worse” or “about the same” compared to other trusts for each of its survey questions.

It used a statistical analysis to allow it to “confidently say” which departments were outperforming or underperforming against other trusts.

Five trusts were identified as performing worse than expected for overall patient experience, compared to six performing better than expected (see first table).

A further five were identified as outliers with worse performance for how long patients had to wait for treatment in A&E (see second table), and eight underperformed for leaving patients waiting with an ambulance crew before emergency department staff took over their care (see third table).

The Princess Alexandra Trust was in the bottom ranked trusts for both overall experience and ambulance handover times.

The Hillingdon Hospitals Foundation Trust featured in the worst ranked trusts for overall patient experience and for overall waiting times in A&E. A spokeswoman for the trust told HSJ: ”The survey results are disappointing, however unprecedented numbers of patients are attending our A&E department. There was a 32% increase in blue light attendances last year. Our staff always ensure we prioritise the very sickest patients and unfortunately this means that some people have to wait longer than we would like.” 

Five trusts were in the “better than expected” group for two out of three categories:

  • Harrogate and District FT;
  • Royal Devon and Exeter FT;
  • Salisbury FT;
  • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lyn FT; and
  • South Tees Hospitals FT.

The overall national results showed 40 per cent of people attending A&E reporting that they waited more than four hours to be treated. In 2014, this figure was 34 per cent, however the CQC warned against comparing the figures as they made changes to the methodology of the 2016 survey.

Across all trusts, 16 per cent of people brought to A&E in an ambulance waited more than an hour for their care to be transferred to A&E staff. Overall, 27 per cent of attendees to consultant led A&E departments reported a very good experience of their care, while 2 per cent reported a very poor experience.

CQC survey question: Experience overall
Trusts that performed better than expected Trusts that performed worse than expected
Harrogate and District FT Bradford Teaching Hospitals FT
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn FT The Hillingdon Hospitals FT
Poole Hospital FT Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust
Salford Royal FT The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust
Salisbury FT East Sussex Healthcare Trust
Gateshead Health FT  
CQC survey question: Overall how long did your visit to the emergency department last?
Trusts that performed better than expected Trusts that performed worse than expected
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust London North West Healthcare Trust
Harrogate and District FT The Hillingdon Hospitals FT
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lyn FT University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust
Royal Devon and Exeter FT University Hospitals of Leicester Trust
South Warwickshire FT Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust
Salisbury FT  
Moorfields Eye Hospital FT  
South Tees Hospitals FT  
CQC survey question: How long did you wait with the ambulance crew before your care was handed over to the A&E staff?
Trusts that performed better than expected Trusts that performed worse than expected
Taunton and Somerset FT Aintree University Hospital FT
Royal United Hospitals Bath FT Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust
Royal Devon and Exeter FT Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust
South Tees Hospitals FT The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust
  University Hospitals of Leicester Trust
  East and North Hertfordshire Trust
  Stockport Foundation Trust
  Lancashire Teaching Hospitals FT

The CQC carries out the national emergency department survey every two years.

The 2016 survey involved 137 acute and specialist trusts with a type one A&E. Forty-nine of the trusts also had direct responsibility for running a type three department. Responses were received from over 45,500 people.

A&E survey: Two in five report waiting more than four hours