Heart attack

Patient satisfaction and heart attack management

Different sources are looking into patient/public satisfaction with the National Health Service (e.g. Patient Voices, King’s Fund). In this summary we report on what recently interviewed heart attack patients said about their experiences of current NHS management of heart attack.
 
All those we talked to praised the care received and described it as a fast and effective service that includes paramedics, surgical team and cardiac care team (see ‘Pre-hospital care in the ambulance, ‘Initial treatments in the ambulance and in the hospital and ‘Angioplasty and stents).
It is the view of all those we talked to recently that the NHS “got it right” when it comes to the treatment of heart attack patients. People talked about the dedication of nursing staff and doctors and felt reassured by the way they had their heart attack and its treatment (primary angioplasty and stenting) explained to them. Alan remembers that the surgeon used pictures to tell him about his surgery. Alan rated the quality of care received in hospital as ‘very good’, but he and his wife wanted more information and advice on what to do when going home.
Waiting time for a follow-up appointment was a concern for some, particularly those who reported having to wait up to six months.
Levels of satisfaction with GP’s care were less apparent. Stanley felt that his GP did not provide enough feedback after his yearly review, particularly about his annual blood test results. His GP used to phone him and discuss the annual test results but he was recently told by the receptionist that ‘it wasn’t necessary’. Stanley said that knowing how he is doing is important to improve his self-care. James described his follow-up care with his GP as a ‘little bit difficult’. Others were still in the care of their cardiac team.
Added February 2013.

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