Researcher Colin Howie, a senior orthopaedic consultant at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, said there was evidence from parts of the NHS in the
that factors such as food and parking were as important to patients as the operation. UK
“The clinical skills of the surgeon were on a par with a parking space,” he said.
Mr Howie said the NHS had to change its focus on how it was dealing with patients if it wanted to improve its satisfaction levels.
The study focused on more than 4,700 joint replacement surgery patients. Mr Howie said: “About a third of patients’ satisfaction comes from Doctor’s technical abilities, about a third comes from the Doctor telling them [patients] what’s going to happen and just under a third comes from the patients’ experience of the healthcare.
There is no doubt that the study is controversial and a blow to the egos of many in the healthcare industry. A response to the article in The Scotsman shows that. Harry Abbott writes, “Indeed, indeed...I see parking bays to replace operating theatres, spaces dedicated for appendicitis, others for replacement knees and hips, etc. ...all having, instead of anaesthetics, pay as you listen readings from today's news in the Scotsman. It'll be a sure and certain money spinner, and the savings on salaries of medical staff? Big figures, big figures.........
The problem is that many in the industry just don’t understand that the appointment starts from the time the patient drives onto the grounds, not the time they walk through the doctor’s clinic door. Patient or customer grooming has to be a major concern of hospitals and the best place to do that is in the car park.
I suspect there will be many people who will be up in arms about the validity of the survey or some such other reason to debunk the results, so as to keep the status quo. I applaud the survey but if nothing changes, then we know the reasons for having hospitals is not to provide care but to provide work for Doctors. As more than a couple of Doctors have told me in the past, if we didn’t have Hospitals, we wouldn’t have patients…. No seriously!
These views are my own.