An overwhelming majority of 999 patients surveyed have praised the service they received from South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb).
The survey, which was carried out in January using a sample of December 2013 999 callers, revealed 86 per cent of more than 700 respondents were ‘very satisfied’ and a further 11 per cent ‘satisfied’ giving an overall satisfaction level of 97 per cent.
While previous surveys have also revealed high satisfaction levels these have been slightly lower at around 93 pre cent.
Those who responded to the survey were very positive about the call taking element of the process with more than 97 per cent stating that they felt able to answer the questions, that the call taker explained the questions clearly and that they were clear at the end of the call as to what to do next. While patients who were given clinical advice over the phone rather than being seen face-to-face were slightly less satisfied, they still returned a high overall satisfaction level of around 88 per cent.
Of those callers who received an ambulance response, 99.7 per cent felt that staff were kind and caring and respected their privacy and dignity.
Of these patients who were not taken to hospital, everyone stated that they agreed with the decision and 96 per cent said they felt confident as to what to do next – demonstrating good decision making and communication by SECAmb crews. The overall satisfaction for both patients who were treated at the scene and those who were taken to hospital was again very high at 99 per cent.
The survey did highlight some areas SECAmb wishes to improve, including ensuring that paperwork is always left with patients who are not taken to hospital and that a patient’s circumstances as well as their condition are considered when their call is being triaged.
SECAmb patient experience lead Louise Hutchinson said, “We’re really pleased that this survey has highlighted such high satisfaction levels and the results are a tribute to the standard of care, treatment and kindness provided day in, day out, by all our staff. We are very proud of the service they provide. We are not complacent and we have already begun to look closely at feedback to ensure that where possible, improvements can be made.”