The latest report from PIF member the Patients Association outlines patient experience across the UK towards the end of 2021.
Patient experience before the omicron wave: the storm before the storm is based on a month-long survey of more than 1,000 patients just before Christmas.
It found patients whose lives are more heavily affected by their health or care needs were less likely to report positive experiences.
Two thirds of respondents indicated they are 'not very' or 'not at all' confident that the health and care system will be able to recover to deliver high quality care and treatment following the pandemic.
Chief executive Rachel Power said: "The findings are bleak. There’s no spin that can be put on the fact that patients are losing confidence in the NHS’ ability to recover from the pandemic to once again care for them.
"We are particularly concerned for one group of patients, whose health issues entirely affected their day-to-day lives and who reported the worst experiences of all.
"It is shocking that this vulnerable group of patients felt uncared for."
Based on its findings, the Patients Association has made six recommendations:
- The NHS must recognise the extent of patient difficulties, understand them, and make a concerted effort to find out patients’ concerns.
- The NHS must reconnect with patients and work in partnership with them to redesign services.
- Health leaders must remove barriers in the health system that stand in the way of shared working and shared decision making.
- The NHS should communicate with patients about their wait, how to keep healthy and well, and where they can get support. All NHS organisations should be using communications guidelines developed last May.
- Variations in standards of NHS 111 care must be remedied.
- A post-pandemic recovery plan should covers all aspects of health, community and social care. It must also include a long-term workforce strategy.