Over 80% of patients rate hospital care as good, waiting times remain an issue

ireland
Over 80% Of Patients Rate Hospital Care As Good, Waiting Times Remain An Issue Over 80% Of Patients Rate Hospital Care As Good, Waiting Times Remain An Issue
On Monday, the INMO said there were 419 people waiting on trolleys in hospitals nationwide. Photo: PA Images
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Muireann Duffy

The vast majority of patients treated in Irish hospitals last year had a positive experience according to the 2021 National Inpatient Experience Survey.

The research found 83 per cent of patients said their experience was 'good' or 'very good', reporting high levels of trust and confidence in hospital staff.

However, long waiting times were highlighted as the greatest issue facing hospital care, with just 29 per cent of patients saying they were admitted to a ward within the HSE's target time of six hours.

Over 300 patients (4 per cent) said they waited over 48 hours before being admitted.

On Monday, figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) showed there were 419 people waiting on trolleys in hospitals around the country, the largest number of whom (98) were waiting in University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

Further areas where patients said improvements are needed were the availability of emotional support, the amount of time patients can discuss their care or treatment with their doctor, and information on how patients can manage their condition after leaving hospital.

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The majority of patients said they did not feel they were at risk of contracting Covid-19 while in hospital, however, a number of participants said they were unable to find a member of staff to talk to about their fears.

Other participants also said they were not assisted in keeping in contact with their family members during a time of restrictions on hospital visits.

Commenting on the findings, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the survey highlights there is "still room for improvement", adding that it is "absolutely essential the health service listens and responds when patients share their experience".

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