BY EMMA CONNOLLY
BANTRY Hospital is embarking on a plan to improve the food served to patients, in response to the findings of a major survey.
A total of 98 participants discharged last May from the hospital took part in the inaugural National Patient Experience Survey 2017.
They were asked 61 questions based on five stages of care: admissions; care on the ward; examinations; diagnosis and treatment; discharge or transfer and other aspects of care.
Overall, Bantry patients’ ratings were well above the national average, with 94% saying they had a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ experience – compared with 84% nationally.
A total of 93% said they always had confidence and trust in the hospital staff.
Cleanliness of the wards; respect and dignity shown by staff and attention to pain management were areas that scored highly.
Examinations, diagnosis and treatment scored higher than the national average.
However, a number of suggestions for improvement in the area of food were made with eight people (9%) rating it as ‘fair;’ and four (5%) describing it as ‘poor.’
One person commented: ‘Extra staff at meal times. If an older person can’t eat by themselves, there is no one to give them a hand, all very busy!’
Communication surrounding the discharge process was another area highlighted for improvement and a number of patients said they were not told about medication side effects or danger signals to look out for after leaving the facility.
A Hospital Nutrition and Hydration committee is currently being set up to improve food and nutrition as a result of the survey findings. A quality improvement plan will be developed by the hospital and will be available at patientexpeience.ie later this month.