Hospital defends ward’s negative rating

Whiston Hospital
Whiston Hospital

WHISTON Hospital chiefs have defended a ward which cares for elderly people after it was given a negative rating in the Government’s new Friends and Family test.

Ward 5C, which provides acute medicine for older patients, was the only ward at Whiston to be awarded a negative rating in the new survey, which asks patients how likely they are to recommend the ward to friends or relatives.

Answers ranged from “extremely unlikely” to “extremely likely” on a six-point scale.

From a sample of just seven respondents, just one said they would be “extremely likely” to recommend the ward.

Because a majority of patients did not answer “extremely likely”, the ward was given a negative rating - despite none of the seven patients saying they would be “unlikely” or “extremely unlikely” to recommend 5C.

A spokeswoman for St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust claimed that, as four out of seven respondents - 57 per cent - answered “likely” or “extremely likely”, this amounted to a “vast majority” of positive comments.

She said: “The trust is pleased with its scores published today in the new NHS Friends and Family test. Many patients said they would be ‘extremely likely’ or ‘likely’ to recommend the trust.

“The vast majority of Ward 5C respondents said they would be either ‘extremely likely’ or ‘likely’ to recommend the ward. Nobody said that they would be ‘unlikely’ or ‘extremely unlikely’.”

The Friends and Family scores, collected from 4,500 NHS wards and 144 A&E services nationwide.

, represent the first wave of results from the new test launched by Prime Minister David Cameron last year.

Designed to encourage all hospitals to “raise their game”, it was issued to more than 400,000 hospital in-patients and A&E patients nationwide.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the process would provide greater transparency to help both celebrate the best of the NHS and root out poor care.