The amount of information doctors give to their patients, and the early hours they are woken in the morning, seem to be the main complaints of those in hospital about the treatment they receive at the hands of the National Health Service.
According to a research paper "Patients' Attitudes to the Hospital Service", prepared for the Royal Commission on the NHS, one in three, patients in hospital felt that they would like to know more about their condition, treatment and progress.
One in five said they either felt unable to ask any of their doctors to tell them what they wanted to kndw, or asked, but failed to get a satisfactory reply.
More than 40 per cent of all adult in patients said they felt they were woken up too early in the morning. According to the survey. 44. per cent were woken at or before 6 am and a further 32 per cent were woken between 6 am and 6.30 am.
If ward routine were changed so that patients were not woken before 7 am, and if those wanting more information about their condition got it, then according to the survey 66 per cent instead of the present 33 per cent of patients would be satisfied with the main features of their experience in hospital.
The hospital out-patients service was regarded as "very good" by 40 per cent of outpatients. The main compliants were about the length of time spent at the hospital and waiting to be seen.
The latest report of the Health Service ombudsman also shows that communications between doctors and their patients is a problem.