County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust places cookies on your computer to improve our website. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor and are all anonymous.� They are used to measure its performance and to provide enhancements to you while using the site. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our privacy policy. Close
High Contrast Sitemap

Survey results praise nurses and health care assistants


A survey of patients at two local hospitals has recognised the hard work of ward staff, in particular, nurses and health care assistants.  Healthwatch County Durham and Healthwatch Darlington were invited by County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust to speak to patients on several wards at University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital about their overall experience, in order to identify what patients felt the Trust did well and any area that could be improved. 



Jason Cram, associate director of nursing, at County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said, "We want to ensure our patients have the very best possible experience when they're in our hospitals.  Clinical care is our top priority but there are other, perhaps less obvious, things that can make the world of difference.  We asked Healthwatch to use their skills and resources to undertake this patient experience survey to help pinpoint areas where we're getting things right and, in particular, things they would like to see changed or improved.  We're delighted that, overall, the feedback was very positive."

Brian Jackson, chair of Healthwatch County Durham, said, "Our role includes undertaking 'Enter and view' visits to health and social care facilities, and as a stakeholder in County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, we were pleased to help.   We spoke to staff and patients on six busy wards, three at University Hospital of North Durham and three at Darlington Memorial Hospital.  We also left surveys for patient and their visitors to complete in their own time.  Their feedback remained anonymous, which encourages frankness.

"Nurses were singled out for how helpful, friendly and approachable patients found them.  Respondents told us how much they appreciated being kept informed and highlighted the caring attitude of nurses and health care assistants.

"Patients on some wards also told us that however busy staff were they took time to ask how they were feeling generally - in terms of their mental health and wellbeing. This is so important, as being in hospital can be a worrying time and patients can also feel isolated. 

"Most patients also highlighted that the meals were good and that they liked the new system for ordering food via a tablet which give the option to change choices at short notice. Patients were also positive about the environment, telling us the wards were clean and the beds comfortable." 

Jason Cram, added, "We're very pleased with the positive feedback from patients and grateful to those who took the time to share their views.  The survey was also helpful in that it revealed some patients found it difficult to sleep at night because of noise on the wards prompting us to initiate our Invest in Rest Charter.  This commits us to ensuring wards offer a restful environment at night and includes some practical steps such as dimming corridor lights,  turning down the volume setting on buzzers and phones, ensuring doors have 'soft close' hinges and reminding ward teams to keep their voices low. Patients can also request ear plugs and eye masks.  We hope this makes a difference to the experience patients have in our care.

We welcome patient feedback on their experience in our care.  They can email us at   or submit a comment via the, 'Tell us what you think' page of our website:"

The full reports are available on the Healthwatch website: or by phoning: 0800 3047039.


Published 19th February

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham