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Key improvements have been made at Royal Derby Hospital following a ‘mystery shopping’ programme by volunteers from Healthwatch Derbyshire, the county’s independent health and social care watchdog.

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Healthwatch Derbyshire Mystery Shop Prompts Hospital Improvements

by Amber Valley Info on Wednesday 6 February 2019

Key improvements have been made at Royal Derby Hospital following a ‘mystery shopping’ programme by volunteers from Healthwatch Derbyshire, the county’s independent health and social care watchdog.

Healthwatch Derbyshire devised the programme in partnership with Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust following previous feedback from the public and patients.

Mock out-patient appointments were set up for a group of volunteers who then reported back their views and experiences of appointment letters, online information, parking at the hospital and finding their way to the clinics.

Healthwatch Derbyshire then recommended several improvements including:

Making graphics on appointment letters clearer

Clearer road markings on the one way system to avoid confusion

Better information about car park charges and more prominent advertising of discounts available for long-term car park use

Clearer signposting of disabled parking bays

Better signage to exit car park six and safer pedestrian crossings

Removal of obstacles such as bollards which can be obstacles for patients and visitors with visual impairments  
Positives highlighted by the volunteers included the work of volunteer hospital navigators who provided a ‘great service’ and were proactive in offering assistance and transporting people in buggies.
Healthwatch Derbyshire Acting Chief Executive Helen Henderson-Spoors said: “The feedback from our volunteers has been invaluable in making recommendations for improvements at Royal Derby Hospital.
“This programme was planned in partnership with Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and we are delighted that the Trust has taken on board all the recommendations from the mystery shop.
“It shows just what can be achieved by proactively asking for the views of patients and the public and how effective simple improvements can be.”
A copy of the report is available on the Healthwatch Derbyshire website at

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