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Important information

Patient-recorded Outcome Measures (PROMs)

Our patients’ views on the treatment and care they receive here at Papworth Hospital are of great help in enabling us to measure and improve the quality of the services we provide. You may therefore be invited to complete a questionnaire before and after your surgery. Your participation is voluntary and any data we collect will be held and stored by our audit department here at Papworth Hospital so that we can send the ‘after your operation’ questionnaire for you to complete approximately 12 weeks following your operation. We adhere to strict guidelines when handling and storing personal information and published reports will not contain any personal details.

Quality of service

We welcome any comments you might have on any aspect of your stay, and any suggestions on how we might improve services to our patients. We value the opportunity to review our practices and make improvements wherever possible. We also carry out patient surveys from time to time using questionnaires and you may be asked to participate; this of course is entirely voluntary. While we hope you will not have cause to complain about any aspect of your stay, all complaints are not only dealt with on an individual basis but reported and investigated to ensure that lessons are learnt and similar occurrences avoided.

Compliments are welcomed by our staff, who strive to provide a high standard of care and service. If you wish to pay a compliment to an individual or a team of staff we look forward to hearing from you.

We would encourage patients and their carers to discuss any issues of concern with the modern matrons in the first instance, to see if they can be resolved locally.  If you do not feel that this has resolved the matter, you can speak to the PALS manager (by pressing the PALS button on your bedside phone); or complete the form ‘Compliments, comments and complaints’ within the leaflet ‘Quality of Service’ (available in all wards and departments); or you can write to the chief executive at the hospital address given on the back page of this booklet.

Patient safety

Patient safety is a top priority for Papworth Hospital and we have a duty to provide a safe environment for patients, visitors and staff. The hospital has an excellent safety record with very few accidents/ incidents occurring. When any such incident does occur it is reported and investigated so that lessons can be learnt to prevent a recurrence.

If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident or suffer an injury, please tell your nurse, who will then arrange for any care or treatment you need as a result and also make sure the incident is formally reported so that it can be investigated. If you have a suggestion about how the hospital could improve the safety and quality of any aspect of service, please contact any member of staff who will ensure the appropriate action is taken.

Papworth Hospital is required by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to report all patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning System (RLS), to inform and improve the safety of healthcare. While the RLS operates on an anonymous basis, information which constitutes the personal data of patients, staff or visitors may, in some cases, be passed to the RLS. Where this is recognised, it will be deleted, as the RLS does not intentionally hold person identifiable information.

Your patient records

Patient records may be accessed for audit purposes to improve patient care at Papworth Hospital and occasionally we may be requested to provide Monitor (the Hospital’s regulatory body) with patient records for audit purposes. Monitor has legal powers (under section 104 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012) to require provision of the patients records necessary to carry out audit. If you would not like your medical records used for audit purposes by the Trust or by our regulatory body, Monitor, please let us know by informing the Nurse or Consultant responsible for your care.

Your personal and clinical data and how it will be used

Clinical information is held about you to ensure clinicians have a complete and continuous record about your past, current and future treatment. This information will be shared with other health professionals involved in your care.

The hospital actively implements and regularly audits security measures to ensure your information is safe. The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you, the patient, various rights, including the right to see and receive copies of information held about you.

For information on how to apply, and the charges involved, please contact the patient services manager in writing or by phone: 01480 364485.

First and foremost your information is, of course, used to guide your care. However, it will also be used for clinical audit, which reviews current standards of hospital patient care against accepted best practice. Any final reports published through clinical audit have all patient identifiable data removed.

Your information might be passed for entry to national registers, eg diabetic register, cancer register, transplant databases and other national and local databases held (sometimes on other sites) about various illnesses. Your information is used to help manage the NHS in other ways.

It is passed in an anonymous format and in some cases in an identifiable format for national and local returns. Your information could be used to educate doctors, nurses, pathologists and other professionals involved in patient care.

It is also possible that your information might be used by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), which manages and raises the standards of risk management throughout the NHS. In order to achieve this, all NHS Trusts are assessed every few years against a set of risk management standards, which are based on those factors that give rise to the greatest number and cost of claims.

As part of the assessment process, the assessors will look at a small number of patient notes and a selection of incident report forms. None of these documents will be removed from the premises. The assessors are all professional people who have previously worked in NHS organisations and are now employed on behalf of the NHSLA under strict principles of confidentiality.

If you wish to object to your records being made available during an NHSLA assessment, please notify the hospital by writing to the patient services manager.

More information about the NHSLA risk management programme is available on its website at

Your right to receive copy letters

If you would like to receive copies of the letters written about you to your General Practitioner and other health professionals, please let the receptionist know on your arrival at the hospital. If you go straight to the ward,

A focus on research

As a specialist centre we are committed to high-quality research to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of heart and lung disease. Our research is often of national and international significance and results are not only used to improve care at Papworth Hospital, but care worldwide.

We make the results of all research undertaken at Papworth Hospital widely available through publication in high-impact medical and nursing journals.

We ask all patients who come to Papworth Hospital to be aware of the importance of research to the hospital and to take time to consider participating in our studies.

Many patients are pleased to have the opportunity to make this worthwhile contribution.  All research carried out at Papworth Hospital has been subjected to approval by an NHS Research Ethics Committee whose duty is to protect the welfare of patients taking part. Before a study can start, the Committee scrutinises the research protocol so that patients can be assured that the study will be conducted to the highest standards, and that their personal details will be kept confidential.

Normally, patients are asked to consider taking part in a research study whilst waiting to come into hospital. If approached, you will be given detailed information and the opportunity to discuss the study with a member of the research team. All patients are given plenty of time to decide whether or not to take part.

If you decide to take part, we will ask that you provide written consent. This may include permission to access your medical records in order to carry out the research.

For further information on research at Papworth, please contact Research and Development on 01480 830541.

There is no obligation to take part and your treatment will not be affected in any way if you say ‘No’, or if you say ‘Yes’ but change your mind at some later date and withdraw.

Amenity beds

An ‘amenity bed’ is a bed in a single room which is made available when it is not required for other patients on medical grounds. It is sometimes possible for NHS patients (if you are being admitted for cardiac or thoracic surgery or for cardiac investigations) to reserve such a bed on our Varrier-Jones Ward, where each room has en suite facilities.

As an NHS patient you would continue to receive medical care free of charge but would be charged for the amenity bed. Provision of amenity beds is subject to availability, which is limited, and even where a bed is booked it cannot be guaranteed.

If you feel you would like the use of an amenity bed, please contact the Patient Services Officer on Varrier-Jones Ward on 01480 364639, in advance of your admission, for details of availability and charges.

NHS patients who wish to pay for additional private care

Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust complies with new guidance from the Department of Health where NHS patients wish to buy additional private treatment not funded by the NHS. Where a patient opts to pay for private care, their entitlement to NHS services remains and will not be withdrawn.

Please be assured that Papworth Hospital staff will exhaust all reasonable avenues for securing NHS funding before suggesting a patient’s only option is to pay for care privately.

Where a patient does opt to pay for additional private healthcare while continuing to receive care from the NHS:

  • It should always be clear whether an individual procedure or treatment is privately funded or NHS funded
  • Private and NHS care should be kept as clearly separate as possible
  • Private care should be carried out at a different time to the NHS care that a patient is receiving
  • Private care should be carried out in a different place to NHS care, and as separately from other NHS patients as possible.


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