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Findings of the 2021 National Inpatient Experience Survey have been published

9 May 2022 Press release

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Most patients had a good experience in hospital, with 83% rating their experience of hospital care as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. The majority of survey participants said that they were always treated with respect and dignity, and that they were given enough privacy when being examined or treated. Patients also gave very high ratings of cleanliness, pain management and confidence and trust in hospital staff. 


Nevertheless, long waiting times in the emergency department remain a problem, with only 29% of people saying that they were admitted to a ward within the HSE’s target waiting time of six hours. Over 300 people (4%) said that they waited 48 hours or more to be admitted. Further areas needing improvement include the availability of emotional support, time to discuss care and treatment with a doctor, information on how to manage a condition after leaving hospital, and opportunities for family members to talk to a doctor.


The survey presented a unique opportunity to ask patients about their experiences of hospital care during a pandemic in Ireland. Most patients surveyed said that they did not feel at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in hospital; however, a number of participants said that they could not find a member of staff to talk to if they had worries or fears about COVID-19, and that they did not receive help to keep in touch with family members. Many patients expressed their appreciation of staff and the care they received, but missed being able to have visitors. Visiting restrictions posed particular challenges for patients with sensory, physical or cognitive impairments. 


Two additional reports — on patients’ experiences of human rights-based care in hospital and of discharge or transfer from hospital — have also been published today. These, and the 2021 National Inpatient Experience Survey report, are available here.