Patient feedback encouraging about emergency care services in Doncaster

Partner release from Healthwatch Doncaster:

Experiences of local emergency and out-of-hours services in the Borough are rated mostly positive by patients, in a new report published by Healthwatch Doncaster.

An independent voice for people who use health and social care services, Healthwatch Doncaster visited local emergency and out of hours services including an overnight visit to Doncaster Royal Infirmary’s (DRI) Emergency Department.

Staff and volunteers spoke to patients and their relatives about their experiences, using a conversational approach rather than asking specific questions, in order to get an accurate picture of service provision from a patient’s perspective.

Our visits also included Mexborough Montagu Minor Injuries Unit, DRI’s Urgent Treatment Centre, whilst surveys were completed by people attending Doncaster’s Same Day Health Centre, located at Cavendish Court. Emergency Care Practitioners distributed questionnaires with reply paid enveloped to recipients of the service.

Sandie Hodson, Engagement Officer and Volunteer co-ordinator, said: “We were very pleased to be able to go behind the scenes in the Emergency Department at DRI to see first-hand how the department copes with a high volume of patients attending.

“Some patients that we spoke to did tell us that they had been on the department for a long time, but without exception this was backed up by them saying that they could understand the reason for this as the department was so busy.”

The main themes to emerge from our engagement across services were:

  • Emergency Department at DRI: Patients told us about waiting times and lack of communication but that staff were caring and professional.
  • Minor Injuries at Mexborough Montagu: Patients were pleased with waiting times but some expressed dissatisfaction around parking charges.
  • Same Day Health Centre: Patients were pleased with the ease of access but some had issues with the triage process.
  • Urgent Treatment Centre (DRI): Patients that we spoke to were generally pleased at being re-directed to the centre and thereby spared a lengthy wait in the Emergency Department.

“People who use the services also told us that the staff treating them were caring and professional, that although they were busy they were coping well under pressure. This was backed up by our own observations,” said Sandie, who was project lead for this work.

Recommendations including improving drinks provisions at the DRI Emergency Department, and a review of the triage process at the Same Day Health Centre, will be followed up with service providers.

Our full findings can be found in the report which will also be distributed to Urgent and Emergency Care providers and other key stakeholders.

The full report is available at: