36 Hospital Wards Given A Negative Rating By NHS England

31 July 2013

36 Hospital Wards Given A Negative Rating By NHS England

The first set of results of a new patient satisfaction survey undertaken by patients to gauge the level of NHS care across the country has revealed patients in 36 hospital wards across England would not recommend them to loved ones.

Patients were asked about the level of care they experienced through a simple ranking system and were asked to confirm whether they would recommend the hospital where they were treated to their loved ones or not. More than 400,000 NHS hospital inpatients or A&E attendees completed the test during April, May and June of 2013. NHS England will now publish monthly updates to ensure patients can regularly give feedback about the care they receive.

The focus of the survey was geared towards stripping swathes of information and statistics and instead focusing on simple, direct opinions about treatment received from patients themselves. Patients were therefore asked whether they would recommend the hospital where they were treated to their loved ones and then attaching a patient satisfaction ‘score’ to explain this finding. Each hospital was given a score based on patient satisfaction levels - if every single patient says they would be ‘extremely likely’ to recommend the service the ward would receive a score of 100, if every single patient said they would be ‘neither unlikely nor likely’, ‘unlikely’ or ‘extremely unlikely’ to recommend the service, the trust receives a score of minus 100.

This simplicity highlighted in stark terms where the treatment received was glaringly poor, such as the finding of the English A&E department obtaining a ‘negative score’ - at Chase Farm Hospital, part of the Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital NHS Trust, in north London.

Commentary on the findings has largely been unanimous in concluding that the necessity to highlight poor care at NHS hospitals is a continuing one and shows no sign of abating. Prime Minister David Cameron commented that the new Friends and Family Test exposed inadequacies at hospitals in stark terms and which supplements the more detailed findings of the Francis Report after the Mid-Staffs NHS scandal, in which up to 1,200 people died needlessly as a result of poor care. Cameron stated ‘I am determined to give patients a far greater voice within the NHS as a way of highlighting the best and worst of care within our hospitals”

According to Health Minister Anna Soubry, it is the simplicity of the findings that allows an at-a-glance picture of overall healthcare at an individual hospital which will encourage current improvement and that such a stark and transparent rating system would have been invaluable in identifying critical lapses at Mid-Staffs. Speaking to BBC news, she commented

‘I am determined to give patients a far greater voice within the NHS as a way of highlighting the best and worst of care within our hospitals

‘With the 'Friends and Family' test, we now have a single measure that looks at the quality of care across the country.

‘I want the NHS to put patient satisfaction at the heart of what they do and expect action to be taken at hospitals where patients and staff say standards are not good enough.’

As highlighted previously in the article, the subterfuge of complex layers of data, meticulous information and data analysis can sometimes cloud the most evident issues at hand. To this end she opined

'We are clearing away some of the smokescreen, some of the systems that prevented people from knowing what's actually happening in their hospitals.

'People in Stafford had known what was happening in their hospital had they been listened to then hopefully some of those people that died wouldn't have died if people had taken proper action considerably sooner.'

Tim Kelsey, NHS England's national director for patients and information, said: ‘This is the boldest move yet to promote real openness in the NHS and to concentrate our focus on improvement in care.

‘At the heart of Robert Francis's report into the tragedy at Stafford hospital was one basic message: to ensure the NHS delivers high quality care for all, we need transparency of the patient and carer experience. It is the absence of this transparency that often allows poor care to go undetected.’

However not everybody shares the opinion that this transparency and simplicity is useful, rather that it traduces healthcare organisations in an unrealistic manner which is far too open to misinterpretation and encourages alacrity in identifying obvious flaws without looking at the overall picture.

Jocelyn Cornwell, director of new patient charity the Point of Care Foundation, said the data findings are ‘not meaningful’.

She said: ‘The way in which the data for the friends and family test is collected varies widely and is open to gaming.

‘People who respond are not part of a random sample, but are self-selecting or, worse, are encouraged to respond by staff.

‘Clearly there is a temptation for staff to encourage responses from patients who they feel will respond positively, especially as a positive result is linked to financial reward.’

By the end of next year, NHS England hopes to roll the test out to include GP practices, community services and mental health services. All other services will be included by April 2015.


Under the new Friends and Family test, patients are asked if they would recommend their ward to their loved ones.

The number who give a negative rating is then deducted from the number who give a positive response.

This figure is then used to produce a Friends and Family Test Score. 

NHS England said that in the first set of results a total of 36 out of 4,500 wards had a negative rating. 

However, some of the hospitals point out that the score can be based on just one rating from a patient.

1.  Riverbank, Bedford Hospital South Wing

2.  5B, Calderdale Royal Hospital 

3.  Cheere Ward, King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)

4.  Rookwood B, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital 

5.  Ward 24, Royal Preston Hospital 

6.  J-WD 7D, John Radcliffe Hospital

7.  Honeyford, Derriford Hospital 

8.  FITZ, Rotherham District General Hospital 

9.  Ward 10, Arrowe Park Hospital 

10. Ward 5, Luton and Dunstable Hospital 

11.  G41, Pinderfields General Hospital 

12.  ITU / HDU (CONQ), Conquest Hospital 

13.  ITU, Heartlands Hospital 

14.  L4, Salford Royal 

15.  Gwynne Holford, Queen Marys Hospital (Roehampton) 

16.  RV05, The Royal Victoria Infirmary 

17.  HH2, Salford Royal 

18.  Byland, Harrogate District Hospital 

19.  Derwent, Kingston Hospital 

20.  BA, Cumberland Infirmary 

21.  AMUW, Basildon University Hospital 

22.  5C, Whiston Hospital 

23.  Newdigate, East Surrey Hospital 

24.  C7, Addenbrooke's Hospital 

25.   D1, Queen Alexandra Hospital 

26.   AMUE, Basildon University Hospital 

27.   F19, Fairfield General Hospital 

28.   9X, The Royal Liverpool University Hospital 

29.   9B, Southport and Formby District General Hospital 

30.   LRI WD 17 Bal L5, Leicester Royal Infirmary 

31.   Clementine B, Queen's Hospital 

32.   Ward 5 Elderly, Wexham Park Hospital 

33.    3B, The Royal Liverpool University Hospital 

34.    Surgical Assessment Unit, Blackpool Victoria Hospital 

35.    A2, Russells Hall Hospital 

36.    AMU, Arrowe Park Hospital

If you have experienced any form of medical mistreatment at any of the above mentioned trusts, or want to better understand exactly what your patient rights are, Mistreatment.com are pleased to offer advice and support to you. Our specialists have wide experience of providing advice and support across a number of areas relating to potential medical mistreatment, such as misdiagnosis and delay and surgery errors, for example.