• Worked with patients, families, health care staff and hospital boards to improve patient experience.
  • Five trusts took part, each working across two care pathways.
  • A partnership with The King's Fund as part of its Point of Care programme, between April 2010 and November 2011.

The Hospital Pathways programme aimed to achieve a breakthrough in patient and family experience, focusing on developing patient-centred care alongside strong staff engagement.

Five hospital trusts took part to develop a small number of ‘exemplar’ hospitals and a group of professional staff and managers who can demonstrate how they have improved patient focus and staff engagement, and then share their expertise. The trusts were:

  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust

The hospitals' perspective

The participating hospitals worked to:

  • understand the drivers for quality of care, including what ‘quality’ means to patients
  • transform care of patients to be reliably excellent in terms of safety, clinical effectiveness, patient focus, timeliness and efficiency, as assessed by patients themselves
  • build capability, so that lessons could be sustained and spread across a whole hospital
  • improve staff engagement and wellbeing, helping in turn to focus the attention of staff on the patients’ experience.

The patients' perspective

From the patient’s point of view, the programme aimed to make sure they:

  • felt confident that the care they received would always be excellent, both clinically and by their own assessment
  • participated in their own care at a level they felt confident with, by collaborating with health care professionals
  • felt that their care was designed in a way that acknowledged its place within their broader lives.

Learning

The programme achieved:

  • improvements to service provision
  • increased staff confidence and sense of purpose
  • improvements to the culture of the trust.

Key factors for success included:

  • high-level organisational support
  • support at the ward/pathway level
  • making the link between NHS policies and improving patient experience.