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Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living

Disabled children less happy with hospital care than peers

Date: 1/7/2015
Summary: While most children are happy with the care they receive in hospital, those with disabilities report a poorer experience.

This is the finding from the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC): Children and young people’s inpatient and day case survey 2014, published today.

Some 87% of children and young people and 88% of parents or carers rated their overall experience as seven or above out of ten – the highest scores that are available. However, the same was not the case for children with physical or learning disabilities, or mental health needs. Five per cent of children with these long-term conditions awarded overall experience scores of between 0 and 2 (with ten being the highest score possible). In comparison, children without these conditions did not give such low scores. And less than half of parents or carers in this category, said they felt staff definitely knew how to care for their child’s individual needs.

The survey of almost 19,000 children and young people who stayed in hospital overnight or were seen as a day patient also revealed wide variation between hospitals. 

Nationally, the results from the 137 acute NHS trusts which took part in the survey shows:

 Some of the findings that indicated relatively poorer quality of care include:

 When it came to the arrangements for leaving hospital:

Professor Edward Baker, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, described “marked variation between the results from individual hospitals.”

“Hospitals should examine the results of this survey, together with our inspection reports and take steps to improve their care where necessary. Children should not have different standards of care depending on which hospital they go to,” he said.

Moreover, he described as ‘worrying’ the fact that responses were less positive across all areas that involved children with specific needs.

“What is particularly worrying is that children with physical, learning or mental health needs are telling us they have poorer experiences. This needs to be addressed straight away so that services meet the needs of all children, irrespective of any disability or specific need.”

Commenting, Health Minister, Jane Ellison said: "This survey shows that the NHS is generally excellent at treating children and young people. The vast majority of young patients experience good care, compassionate staff and feel safe. But every single child and family matters. It concerns me that the CQC find that children with disabilities have poorer experiences and I know NHS staff will want to look closely at what can be done to improve this."

Source onmedica

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