Norfolk's three main hospitals have been urged to keep patients better informed about how long they should expect to wait in A&E.

Patient group Healthwatch Norfolk (HWN) recently conducted a major study into the region's three acute hospitals - the Norfolk and Norwich, the James Paget and the Queen Elizabeth.

It saw the organisation's staff members spend a week in each hospital and survey the opinions of more than 1,400 patients.

And while most participants said they were happy with the care they were receiving, frustrations over waiting times were a recurring theme.

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The survey found that almost three-quarters of A&E patients claimed not to have been informed of expected waiting times in the departments.

The findings have prompted HWN to urge the hospitals to work at ensuring communication with patients and carers is clear and up to date.

Overall though, the surveys produced largely favourable experiences from patients - with 69pc of people rating their care as five out of five.

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Other areas identified for improvements included the need to let patients know what needs to happen for them to be discharged and to make sure hospital food caters for all dietary needs.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk (Image: Healthwatch Norfolk)


Alex Stewart, HWN's chief executive, said: "All the key conclusions of the report will be shared with senior staff at all three hospitals and will help us with our future engagement to identify areas where we need to find out more in-depth information and experiences.

"People's views and experiences did differ according to their age, background and disability and we will continue to work with different groups of people to ensure we learn about the experiences of everyone, particularly those with seldom heard or under-represented.

"We hope the feedback we found will give hospitals lots to work with and learn from and hope to repeat the exercise in the future at other hospitals in the county."