Better Care, Better Outcomes

Consumer experiences of person-centred care in NSW hospitals

Better Care, Better Outcomes

Consumer experiences of person-centred care in NSW hospitals

Project overview

In August 2021, Health Consumers NSW (HCNSW) and the Physical Disability Council of NSW (PDCN) ran a joint, one-month online consumer survey to try to understand peoples’ experience of communication difficulties in NSW hospitals.

We asked if patients felt that there were appropriate levels of communication between patients and health care staff, what consumers thought the barriers were to good communication, and what was needed to improve communication.

We received 182 survey responses from a diverse cohort of individuals including people with physical disability, people living with chronic disease, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, carers, and older persons.

Better Care Better Outcomes Cover

Key project messages

  • The more complex a patient’s care needs were, the less likely they were to receive person-centred care.
  • More than half of all participants (51%) reported struggling to understand their diagnosis and treatment.
  • 36% of participants stated that they always had to repeat specific care requirements to hospital staff, for example, disability accessibility requirements.
  • 7% reported never being asked for permission before things were done directly to them, such as wound dressing.

The nurse didn’t ask my son’s needs and she looked too super busy to ask or care.

I do not have complex communication needs. My communication needs were ignored.

My mother has been in hospital many times and information, or communication is never provided in her language although we made this request and when she is unable to understand the staff has at times become irritated with her.

Project Outcomes

In October 2022, we released a joint report Better Care, Better Outcomes: Consumer Experiences of Person-centred Care in NSW Hospitals.

The report provides a snapshot of what, we believe, is a much larger issue in realising best practice, person-centred care in hospitals.

We make several recommendations on ways to enhance the healthcare experiences of patients from a consumer perspective, including the incorporation of new technologies to document patients’ complex care information in an easily accessible format to avoid the loss of vital information at pivotal points in a patient’s hospital journey.

Better Care Better Outcomes Report page

Better Care, Better Outcomes: Consumer Experiences of Person-centred Care in NSW Hospitals

Recommendations on ways to enhance the healthcare experiences of patients from a consumer perspective.

What next?

This is a critical issue, and we’ll provide the report to Ministers and stakeholders within NSW Health as we continue to work in partnership with them to address the serious gaps identified in the report.