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Title: Just a bunch of grapes? : liminality and the experiences of adult visitors to NHS acute medical and surgical wards in England
Author: Underwood, Janet E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 5921
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2016
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In this thesis, I argue that the practice of visiting patients on the more general acute medical and surgical wards in National Health Service hospitals in England has been underresearched and is frequently overlooked by policy. This is despite the large number of written complaints received annually about NHS acute hospital care services in England. The thesis commences with an extensive examination of the contextual influences on hospital visitors’ experiences and expectations. This is followed by a detailed account of the qualitative research, using semi-structured interviews, with participants who had been hospital visitors. Visiting experiences were described as a journey through the patient’s admission, hospital stay and discharge or death. This journey was identified as a time of liminality (van Gennep 1960) with the visitors’ everyday routines and structures suspended and transitions to be made. Liminality and its core features identified by Turner (1974) therefore provided a theoretical framework through which to explore the data. The analysis resulted in the identification of extensions to the understandings of liminality when applied to the hospital-visiting scenario. In turn, the use of liminality, as central to the theoretical framework, provided richer interpretations of hospital visitors’ experiences and so adds to the knowledge about the practice of hospital visiting. Evidence is therefore provided to support future policy, training and professional education improvements and to suggest measures to improve hospital visiting experiences. These improvements, especially in terms of hospital hospitality, effective communication and improved discharge management, could increase hospital visitors’ satisfaction and reduce the costs to the NHS incurred by responding to the high volume of written complaints.
Supervisor: Fink, Janet Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R Medicine (General) ; RA Public aspects of medicine