Around one in five people feel they are not sufficiently involved in decisions about their care and treatment, according to early results from the second annual survey of NHS patients in England.
Focusing on the experiences of coronary heart disease (CHD) patients in the NHS, the survey covered a number of issues such as access and waiting times, communication between patients and hospital staff, and patient involvement in treatment decisions.
Research found that, while the majority of CHD patients have confidence in all their doctors and nurses, in some areas of hospital performance, overall patient experience has been unsatisfactory.
The results found that more than two in five (43 per cent) of the patients admitted as an emergency had to wait more than 10 minutes for assessment after arriving in hospital.
Fifty-five per cent of patients admitted to hospital from a waiting list or planned admission had to wait more than three months, and 36 per cent for more than six months.
These results come soon after health secretary Alan Milburn announced six modernisation action teams to develop a national plan for the NHS – as reported in last month’s Health Insurance.
One of these teams will focus on many of the issues raised by CHD patients, including speed of access and patient empowerment.
Health minister Gisela Stuart, who will chair the CHD team, said: “These early findings show that people want to be given more information and a greater say in their own treatment. This has to be tackled.”