With the greater need for specialist neonatal care in England over the last decade, increased attention has been given to developing and implementing quality measures to ensure that babies and their families receive the highest quality care. Patient experience is recognised as a key measure of quality, therefore it is essential to assess parents’ experiences of neonatal services to understand how these can be improved.
Patient experience is widely recognised as one of the central elements of quality in the NHS in England. Quality of care includes the compassion, dignity and respect with which patients and their families are treated. It can only be improved by analysing and understanding patients’ satisfaction with, and experiences of their care and treatment.
In a paper published by the Patient Experience Journal, Picker details findings from the second large scale survey of parents’ experiences of neonatal care carried out in England in 2014, focusing on results that highlight aspects of family-centred care: information sharing; communication; support; and involvement. The results reveal great variations between individual units, as well as highlight key areas in which units could improve to provide family-centred care. This includes parents being able to speak to their doctor more, as well as receiving important information to understand their baby’s condition, and about support services available.
Ultimately, the study enables neonatal units to evaluate how they are performing on key standards of care, and supports them in striving for clinical best practice.
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