Just a bunch of grapes

My work demonstrated how hospital visiting times are fraught with many mixed emotions for visitors, patients and hospital staff with, sometimes, resulting confrontation and complaint. In the year 2010-2011 there were 14.9 million completed admissions to NHS hospitals in England.  This equates to many more (uncounted and unrecorded) visitors to these patients. The largest proportion (22,873 or 31.6%) of the 107,259 written complaints about hospital and community care services in England in 2011-2012 related to inpatient hospital admissions by, or on behalf of patients. These figures neither reveal the number of complaints made by visitors, nor the number of verbal complaints made on the wards and diffused by hospital staff.

There is a paucity of literature about, and research into, the hospital visitor experience to the more general NHS wards; most  of it being directed at specialist areas such as paediatrics, intensive care or maternity with a smaller amount concentrating on palliative care and care of the elderly.  Research into the hospital visitor experience to general wards will fill this knowledge gap and perhaps provide indications for future policy-making and professional understanding.  This should hopefully secure better patient and visitor experiences and minimise the high number of complaints which currently take up considerable and valuable NHS resources in terms of time and finance.

Presentation time: 
Tuesday, 1 July, 2014 - 13:30

Janet Underwood

Due to constrained family finances, I was unable to go to university on leaving school in 1970.  Instead, I completed my state registered nurse training, leaving the profession in 1974 to care for my children and support my husband in his family business.  My OU studies (especially course U205 Health and Disease) reawakened my interest in nursing and gave me the confidence to complete a Return to Practice Course in 2003 to reinstate my qualified nurse status.  I worked on a busy kidney transplant ward for 9 years whilst continuing my studies and achieving  a BSc (hons) (1st class) in social