PERFORMANCE: Western Sussex Hospitals Trust scored an average of 53 for accident and emergence and 80 for inpatients in the “friends and family” test over the first quarter of 2013-14.

This gave it a combined net promoter score from both A&E and inpatients of 74 for the quarter, which was above the national average of 64.

However, it had a combined A&E and inpatients response rate of 6.4 per cent for the quarter, around half the national average of 13.3 per cent.

The first dataset from the patient experience test was published by NHS England on 30 July, covering April, May and June.

The trust scored consistently well for inpatient wards during the quarter and finished strongly in A&E. But average response rates were the second lowest in the region.  

For A&E wards, the trust scored 29 in April, 52 in May and 79 in June. The response rate was 1.4 per cent in April, 1.9 per cent in May and 6.8 per cent in June – the government has set a 15 per cent target.

For inpatient wards, it scored 81 in April, 83 in May and 75 in June. The response rate was 12.3 per cent in April, 13.6 per cent in May and 16.1 per cent in June.

The test is based on one question: “how likely are you to recommend our ward/A&E department to your friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?”

Patients are presented with six responses ranging from “extremely likely” through to “extremely unlikely”, which are linked to scores ranging from 100 through to -100.

Nationally in June 36 wards out of 4,500 across the country scored an overall negative figure, down from 66 in April.

Two wards, both acute medical units, at Western Sussex scored negatively during the quarter, but these were generally accompanied by low response rates.

In April, the AMU at St Richard’s Hospital scored -100, based on one response, and Worthing Hospital’s AMU also scored -100, based on one response, in May.