NHS Communication Messing Up Treatments, Says Research

NHS communication. A recent study flagged some serious issues with how the NHS in England talks to folks, leading to delays in treatment and putting patients at risk.

The Big Communication Mess

Researchers from the Demos thinktank, the Patients Association, and the PMA (a group for healthcare peeps) uncovered widespread communication problems. These problems got patients and staff all jumbled up, trying to find their referrals, missing appointments, or getting their diagnoses late.

The Scoop from the Poll

They surveyed about 2,000 peeps, including both the public and NHS staff across England. More than half of them said they faced lousy communication from the health service in the past five years. And get this, one in 10 said their care got messed up because of it.

Trouble Spots Unveiled

The study found that in the past year, 18% of peeps or their family members faced delays or issues in care because they got referred to the wrong place. Meanwhile, a quarter of them felt the heat because they got an appointment date and time at super short notice.

What People Said

Miriam Levin from Demos highlighted that despite everyone loving the NHS, navigating the system was a pain for patients. Critical appointments missed, diagnoses kept secret or dropped too late, and treatment referrals vanishing – these glitches caused actual harm.

Chasing Up Referrals & Feeling Lost

More than a quarter of those surveyed had to track down their referrals themselves just to get seen. And guess what? Nearly a fifth of them had no clue who to call about their care after a referral.

Stressed & Angry Folks

Around half of the participants felt super stressed and anxious because of this mess in communication. Four in 10 were fuming! And that’s not all – 8% missed out on important treatment info, 9% got bungled messages, and 16% were kept in the dark while waiting.

The Fallout

This bad communication had peeps worrying about the quality of care – nearly half of them! More than a quarter felt like NHS staff time and money were going down the drain. Plus, almost a third lost their trust in the health service because of this.

Call for Change

Rachel Power, the head of the Patients Association, emphasized that good communication isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s crucial for patients and healthcare pros to team up and work things out smoothly.

The Ask from the Report

The report’s pushing the government to wake up and smell the importance of solid communication between the NHS and patients. They’re suggesting more investment in staff and systems. Stuff like hiring more care coordinators and beefing up the role of the NHS app.

NHS’s Take

The NHS England peeps acknowledged the hard work of their staff, dealing with loads more people needing care. They stressed the need for top-notch communication to keep patients safe and offer the best care.

But they hit back at the report, saying they’re already beefing up their care navigator team, training over 7,500 staff. They’re rolling out new tech to bring NHS data together and make care smoother. Plus, they’re letting millions more peeps access their health records through the NHS app.

So, the report’s shouting for a revamp in how the NHS talks to patients and the peeps working there. Time for smoother chats and quicker fixes, yeah?