Press Release

Minister Lenihan welcomes Launch of the National Patient Perception of the Quality of Healthcare Survey, 2002

Mr. Brian Lenihan T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today, 19 March 2003 welcomed the publication of the National Patient Perception of the Quality of Healthcare Survey 2002 by the Irish Society for Quality and Safety in Healthcare.

The Health Strategy, Quality and Fairness – a Health System for You, identified the need for healthcare providers to put the patient at the centre in the delivery of care and to take into account patient´s views about the care they receive.

The results of this latest independent survey demonstrate that patients perceive the quality of the care and service received to be very high. For example, 92.9% of respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of care they received during their stay in hospital. 85.5% of respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the standard of service they received in the A&E Department. With regard to communication with doctors, 90.9% of respondents indicated that the explanations given to them by doctors about their condition and treatment were either very easy or fairly easy to understand, whilst 92% expressed a high level of overall satisfaction with the hotel aspects of the hospital’s service.

“It is most encouraging to see that results indicate very high levels of satisfaction with care and service received” said the Minister.

The survey also highlights a number of areas identified by patients where improvements might be made but, interestingly, these areas were not linked to any question of resources. For example, communication was identified as an important dimension of quality, and respondents would welcome more written and verbal information in relation to their hospital stay as well as post-discharge advice.

“The challenge now, said the Minister, is to build on our successes and address those areas that require improvement.”

The Minister congratulated the Society for this pioneering and innovative study which has immense potential to help hospital management provide a quality service and to assist in key decisions with regard to service delivery. It also has great scope to provide valuable input into policy decisions.

Quality is one of the key principles underpinning the Department´s new Health Strategy and continues to be a cornerstone of health policy.

“It must be recognized that in healthcare, quality is not an option but a feature of the service which consumers have come to demand and expect. The overriding objective is to achieve real and measureable improvement for the consumer by putting the interests of the patient to the fore. The Society´s 2002 survey is an excellent example of how we can work to achieve this objective” said the Minister.