PATIENTS have ranked Croydon University as one of the worst hospitals in the country, the Advertiser can today reveal.
Ratings from the annual patients' survey, conducted at hospitals across England, will be made public in mid-April.
But the Advertiser has seen a copy of the survey for Croydon Health Services – the trust which runs the hospital – and it makes for grim reading.
The overall score for the trust means it is preparing to be ranked as low as second worst in the country.
News of the patients' verdict comes a month after results of a damning staff survey, in which a third of health workers – equivalent to more than 1,000 – said they would not want a friend or relative to be treated at the hospital once known as Mayday.
Croydon's average score over the more than 90 patient questions means it is estimated to rank 159 out of 161 trusts, when compared with the previous year's results, in the annual national inpatient survey for England set to be published on April 16.
However, the average "coquina score" – calculated from five key survey questions – could put it as low as 160th in the country.
Croydon scored 56.4 in this, well below the comparison national average of 67.
A spokesman for Croydon Health Services confirmed it does "not expect to see a significant change in scores" from the previous year.
The 2012 survey, answered by hundreds of patients over two months, also suggests standards have slipped.
When compared with the year before, Croydon did "significantly better" in two questions, but "significantly worse" in five.
Meanwhile Croydon Health Services remains in the top 20 per cent of trusts across England for just two questions, but in the bottom 20 per cent for a further 41 criteria, according to an analysis of the results drawn up by the trust's director of nursing Zoe Packman, and seen by the Advertiser.
The two categories which Croydon remains in the top 20 per cent for are:
Did you share a room with patients of the opposite sex?
Did you receive copies of letters sent between hospital doctors and your family doctor (GP)?
However, the 41 questions for which it remains in the bottom 20 per cent include:
From the time you arrived at the hospital, did you feel that you had to wait a long time to get to a bed on a ward?
How clean was the ward or room that you were in?
How clean were the toilets and bathrooms that you used?
Did you get enough help from staff to eat your meals?
Did you have confidence and trust in the doctors treating you?
Did nurses talk in front of you as if you were not there?
Were there enough nurses on duty to care for you in hospital?
Overall, did you feel you were treated with respect and dignity while you were in the hospital?
In reaction to nearly a third of respondents – 29 per cent – saying they felt nurses talked in front of them as if they were not there, Margaret Mead, Croydon Council's cabinet member for health, said: "Clearly this survey can't be ignored.
"Nurses talking as if patients weren't there means there obviously needs to be some training put in place. I think it is important that this survey is looked at and improvements are made in the areas highlighted of specific concern.
"I think it is fair to say a lot of people do receive good care at Croydon; not everybody has a bad experience, but there do seem to be issues."
The data leaked to the Advertiser is an analysis carried out by the company Patient Perspectives, which is commissioned to carry out surveys on behalf of the NHS.
The formal, final findings will be published by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) later this month.
Croydon Health Services this week stressed the data has not yet been fully published and suggested "the summary you have seen is not complete and may not be accurate".
However, a spokesman admitted: "We have said publicly in previous board meetings, and in discussions with our many partners and stakeholders, that we do not expect to see a significant change in our scores in the 2012 survey as many of the actions we have taken, such as increasing the numbers of nurses and midwives, will take a long time to have an effect."
Sample questions and results:
During your stay, were you ever asked to give your views on the quality of your care? Yes – 15 per cent No – 78 per cent Don't know/Can't remember – 7 per cent Total people asked: 394 How would you rate the hospital food? Very good – 16 per cent Good – 33 per cent Fair – 31 per cent Poor – 17 per cent I did not have any hospital food – 3 per cent Total people asked: 403 How many minutes after you used the call button did it usually take before you got the help you needed? 0 minutes/right away – 6 per cent 1-2 minutes – 17 per cent 3-5 minutes – 19 per cent More than 5 minutes – 13 per cent I never got help when I used the call button – 2 per cent I never used the call button – 43 per cent Total people asked: 385 Before the operation procedure, were you told how you could expect to feel afterwards? Yes, completely – 43 per cent Yes, to some extent – 30 per cent No – 26 per cent Total people asked: 276 Were you ever bothered by noise at night by other patients? Yes – 46 per cent No – 54 per cent Total people asked: 399 Did nurses talk in front of you as if you weren't there? Yes – 8 per cent Yes, sometimes – 21 per cent No – 71 per cent Total people asked: 397.