Kettering Hospital’s maternity service named as finalist for national award

Kettering Hospital's maternity service is a finalist
Kettering Hospital's maternity service is a finalist

Kettering General Hospital’s maternity service is a finalist for a national award that celebrates the way organisations use feedback from patients and staff to improve healthcare services.

The service is a finalist in the Friends and Family Test Awards 2016 – a competition by NHS England to help the NHS improve the way it learns from patients’ experiences.

The Friends and Family Test is a questionnaire offered to patients who use NHS services as a way to quickly, and anonymously, feedback on how they rate their latest experience of care.

They can provide comments to explain their score and this helps trusts focus on areas that need improvement.

Kettering Hospital is one of 200 NHS services which have taken part in the competition and one of 123 finalists.

The hospital’s head of midwifery and nursing, Eilish Crowson, said: “We use the Friends and Family questionnaire to get up-to-the-date feedback from our service users to help us to improve their experience.

“We get a good return rate of 30-40 per cent each month on the questionnaire and discuss the results with our ward and community teams.

“This enables us to identify any trends and make further improve our service user experience.

“Improvements we have made as a result of the using the test have included enabling partners to stay with mums undergoing the induction of labour process.

“We are also currently reviewing the potential of partners being enabled to stay longer following the birth of their baby in response to comments about the importance of this time period for new parents.

“We have specifically seen improvements on our post natal ward where Friend and Family scores have risen from 60 per cent who would strongly recommend our service to 86 per cent.

“This is a great indicator for the ward matron and lead midwife on the ward to demonstrate the importance of the changes they have made both to patients and to the staff and helps us to embed these changes.”

Northamptonshire healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) has also been selected as a finalist in the awards scheme, making the shortlist for the best FFT accessibility initiative category.

Over the past three months, more than 8,000 patients and their families provided NHFT with feedback.

94 per cent would recommend the trust to their friends and family as a place to receive treatment and gave a rating of 4.83 out of a maximum five stars for quality and experience.

The entry describes how the trust has successfully used a system called I Want Great Care to obtain detailed feedback from people who access our prison healthcare service.

As a result, the organisation can better understand how to improve their provision of healthcare needs for the prison population.

Benjamin Tolley, head of speciality services at NHFT, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the FFT awards.

“Listening to patient feedback is an important part of what we do as an organisation across all our services.

“Our prison services are no different.

“Ensuring we provide quality care for all is our priority and feedback from our patients and service users is an excellent way of benchmarking this.”

NHS England’s director of patient and public participation and insight, Anu Singh, said: “Through entries to the awards, we have found a rich seam of information about a whole range of improvements, great and small, that make a real difference to how patients feel about their contact with the NHS.”

The winners will be announced at a conference organised by NHS England on March 17 and will be simultaneously announced on the news section of the NHS England website.