The NHS will make sure people experience better care, not just better treatment, so that everyone can expect to be treated with compassion, dignity and respect whenever they come into contact with the NHS.
Quality of care is as important as quality of treatment. No one going in to hospital should have to worry about being left in pain, unable to eat or drink, or go to the toilet. And those who have relatives or friends who need support should have peace of mind that they will be treated with compassion, respect and dignity – whether at home or in residential care.
In incidents of major failings in care, it is frequently older and vulnerable people and those with complex conditions who bear the brunt – people who are less likely or less able to complain.
The NHS Commissioning Board is being asked to do a range of things to help improve people’s experience of care. This includes:
- making rapid progress in measuring and understanding how people really feel about the care they receive and taking action to address poor performance
- asking people whether they would recommend their place of treatment to a family member or friend
- improving the standards of care and experience for women and families during pregnancy and in the early years for their children
- ensuring that the views of children, especially those with specific healthcare needs, are listened to and that they have access to the services they need
- ensuring timely access to services by upholding the rights and commitments set out in the NHS Constitution.