Aims “Patient experience” is an important area of patient care. This survey aimed to measure experiences of patients with food allergies attending Paediatric Allergy Services in our Department.
Methods A Patient Reported Experience Measure (PREM) tool, developed by the RCPCH in partnership with the Picker Institute to allow services to measure the patient experience for children who have allergic conditions, was used. The Young Person Allergy PREM, has two sections: section one to be completed by the young perso years of age, and section two, for their parent/carer to complete.
All patients >8 years old, with food allergies and their carers attending the Paediatric Allergy clinic in our hospital between May and August 2013 were invited to participate.
Results Twenty questionnaires were returned, of which 4 were excluded due to patient age being <8 years. Patients were aged between 8 and 14 years. 81% of patients and 75% of carers felt that health professionals spoke to them in an understandable way. Most patients (93%) and their carers (87%) felt they were allowed opportunities to discuss their treatment and had their questions answered in a comprehensible manner (81% of patients and carers). 93% of young persons and carers felt trust and confidence in the professional they saw and 94% in each group rated the service as Excellent or Very good. 75% of carers and 62% young people thought that their school had been provided with enough information about their allergic condition and the majority of parents (81%) had provided this information themselves. Interestingly, although 31% of young persons felt they needed further support for their food allergy, no carer thought that additional support was needed.
Conclusion Feedback about the quality of care received was generally positive. Our survey found that parents frequently underestimated the need of the child/young person with food allergies for additional support. This emphasises the importance of seeing young patients by themselves where possible and seeking their views in consultations. Responding to our survey results, our Department is now directly communicating with schools so that families do not feel responsible for providing the relevant information themselves.