A SINGLE question put to patients at Hereford County Hospital will tell Wye Valley Health Trust (WVT) what it wants to hear.

The question to be asked of all patients staying in the hospital overnight or being treated at A&E is: “Would they recommend the hospital to friends and family if they needed similar treatment?”

First implemented in April this year, the initiative enables patients to offer “real time” feedback about the care and treatment they have received.

The trust gets that “real time” return in patient experiences that identify issues around practice.

WVT has been piloting the test at the County Hospital for a year and overall the results have been positive.

Rose Treherne, Teme ward sister, said: “I think the test has the potential to really drive change and spotlight where improvements need to be made and it is also an opportunity to look at areas where we’re performing well.

“Ultimately, it’s about ensuring our patients receive a consistently high level of care.”

With more than 40,000 inpatients and 45,000 accident and emergency patients being treated and cared for each year, the test will provide a clear and concise insight into local people’s perception of the care and treatment that the County Hospital provides.

Michelle Clarke, director of nursing and quality at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We want patients to feel assured that the information they provide is acted upon to review and continue to improve our services.

“The results are analysed and patient feedback is shared with wards and staff in real time, so that prompt action can be taken to facilitate service improvements in order to ensure we are providing the highest quality of care to our patients, along with a number of quality and safety measures in place.”

The Friends and Family test results will be available at trust and individual ward level on the NHS Choices website from July.

They also be displayed on each in-patient ward and A&E department at the County Hospital for patients, visitors and staff to view.