Find out how we helped Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust to gather in-depth feedback of what it’s like to be one of their patients.


The Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust runs services including North Devon District Hospital at Barnstaple, other community hospitals across North Devon, and community teams that deliver nursing, therapy and care in people’s homes.  The Trust keeps patient experience under continuous review but analysis of the feedback indicated that the Trust needed to review its strategy.

NDHCT asked Healthwatch Devon to take soundings from people with recent experience of its hospital-based and community-based services, acting independently of the Trust to record what people had to say.

What we did

We ran three x two-hour focus groups in January 2017, in Bideford, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe to explore topics such as:

  • communication
  • availability of staff
  • coordination of care
  • self-care
  • Encouraging patient feedback.

We also undertook some desk based research from five different feedback sources.

Our findings

Read out report to Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Read our report to NDHCT

Overall, people were very positive about their experiences as patients with the Northern Devon Trust.  They were appreciative of the treatment they had received, particularly when good medical care was matched with kindness from staff.  They also liked the fact that the Trust had asked for their views, and was ready to listen and learn.

Positive feedback included:

  • Quick responses
  • Good communication
  • Good co-ordination between different parts of the service
  • Kindness of staff

Negative feedback included:

  • Delays
  • Poor communication
  • Poor co-ordination
  • Unhelpful staff

Read our full report to Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

Next steps

Our full report on all the focus group discussion has gone to the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, and will be used to help staff think about how they can give patients the best possible experience of care.


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