Isle of Wight patients become 'mystery shoppers'

NHS Isle of Wight asks patients to report failings after negative feedback

Patients will be asked to become ‘mystery shoppers’ as NHS Isle of Wight primary care trust (PCT) endeavours to improve standards of care, cleanliness and infection control across hospitals in the region.

The Silent Patient project will involve 20 randomly-selected patients due to be admitted for elective surgery being asked to keep a diary noting their observations on the attitudes of staff, the cleanliness of their surroundings and the support they receive throughout their stay.

The PCT’s chief nurse and director of infection prevention and control, Carol Alstrom, said: "While the level of complaints has noticeably dropped this year, patients’ experience survey results give an indication we do not always give our patients a good experience. Our recent visits by the Care Quality Commission, feedback from concerns raised and also our own staff who have been patients show, this is still an area we need to improve on. It is hoped this will give us a richness of information we wouldn’t usually get from complaints or surveys. The ‘mystery shopper’ pilot will give us a more complete picture.”

The project will be evaluated in June.