Extensive patient surveys conducted by Tallaght Hospital and feedback prioritised in the development of care

As part of its longstanding commitment to patient advocacy and ensuring a high quality patient experience, Tallaght Hospital undertook a Volunteer-Led Patient Survey Programme involving extensive patient surveys of inpatients and outpatients in 2015 to gather patient feedback and use it to improve services.  

 Between July and November 2015, specially trained members of the Tallaght Hospital Volunteer Service in partnership with the Patient Advocacy Service interviewed 426 patients about their experiences at Tallaght Hospital. Working with the Picker Institute, personalised surveys were designed for each patient that enabled volunteers to generate feedback on their experience of the treatment and facilities at Tallaght Hospital in an atmosphere of comfort and confidence.

The survey results were presented as a special Patient Survey Showcase event, held at Tallaght Hospital on the 20th of January. Guests included Peter Tyndall Ombudsman, Stephen McMahon of the Irish Patients Association, Dr. Philip Crowley of the HSE, Lisa Yorke of the Picker Institute and representatives of Irish and UK hospitals and local patients’ representatives. Survey results revealed that the vast majority of patients are happy with their experience at Tallaght Hospital, with 94% of inpatients responding that care was good, very good or excellent; 98% saying their hospital room or ward was clean and 95% saying they had confidence in the nurses. Importantly, the survey was designed with the user in mind, to find improvements that are not always obvious to staff and regular visitors.  

David Slevin, CEO, Tallaght Hospital said, “Tallaght Hospital has always been committed to ensuring that all our patients receive the highest quality of care and a central part of that is collecting and responding to their  feedback. This initiative, with support from experts in the area such as the Picker Institute, the Southampton NHS Trust and the excellent work of our volunteer’s service and patient advocacy department, will ensure the patient voice is heard and the feedback is used to improve the patient experiences when coming to Tallaght Hospital. The entire initiative is a very practical example of how at Tallaght Hospital we are all about ‘people caring for people’. This process is invaluable in ensuring that we continue to meet the needs and expectations of our patients and I would like to thank all involved for their excellent work.”

We are continuously looking for ways to improve the patient experience at Tallaght Hospital. These surveys will give patients an influential voice in this process and capture insights and improvements that are not always obvious to staff who use the facility every day. The routine collection of such input is commonplace in the British National Health Service and we are delighted to be introducing it to Tallaght Hospital. This is yet another way for Tallaght Hospital to demonstrate its commitment to patients and their welfare.

 Carol Roe, Manager, Tallaght Hospital Volunteer Service said, “The feedback from all the volunteers involved in this process has been excellent. The patient survey is a wonderful initiative – asking our patients, who are our customers, is an example of how seriously Tallaght Hospital is trying to improve patient care. The patients we spoke to during the process really appreciated being asked for their feedback and being able to have a say in what services they would like to see in the hospital.

The surveys are guiding improvements including:

  • Improved hospital signage to make it easier to navigate the building
  • Increased clinics and list validation procedures to reducing outpatient waiting times
  • Increased information on Departments for patients to review before attending for their outpatient view
  • A review of Pastoral Care services to increase the number of people available to patients to talk to them about their concerns and fears
  • New uniforms for volunteers for easier identification by patients looking for information

 These improvements should lead to a greater level of patient satisfaction as they use our services and they also provide a base line performance level for future analysis and improvement.

 Tallaght Hospital plans to undertake four more surveys with different questions in 2016 in the X-Ray Department, the Emergency Department, Paediatric Inpatients and Paediatric Outpatients.

 A full copy of the report can be found on www.tallaghthospital.ie

 Tallaght Hospital Volunteers Service

The Tallaght Hospital Volunteer Services Department has been running since the doors of the hospital opened in 1998. Originally our volunteers showed patients coming to the new hospital where to find their clinic or a ward to find their loved one. 

As our hospital has grown so to, has the unique contribution our volunteers make to our patients healthcare journey. Each volunteer at Tallaght Hospital plays an indispensable role in enhancing the experience our patients, their carers and visitors have during their time with us, whether it is for a brief or extended period of time.  In addition to an array of support services, our volunteer programme particularly through the Volunteer Coffee Shop raise funds which are invested back into programmes within the hospital that benefit of patients. Just some of the initiatives supported by our Volunteer programme include a library service, pastoral care, play therapy, patient engagement, student volunteering, meet & greet volunteers, artist volunteers and now patient-survey volunteers. 

If you would like to find out more about our Volunteer Services please contact our Volunteer Services Manager Carol Roe on: Volunteerservices@amnch.ie

 About Tallaght Hospital

Tallaght Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 416 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with 2,600 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre.

 Tallaght Hospital is one of two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.

 A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.

 The hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 44,640 Adult ED Attendances and 31,934 Paediatric Attendances in 2014. A further 263,929 patients were treated through the hospital’s outpatient clinics in 2014. The hospital’s operations are supported by a community of 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.