TWO wards at Arrowe Park Hospital are listed among only 36 in the country to have failed the controversial “friends and family test”.

Figures released today show that the acute medical unit and ward 10 at the hospital received negative scores when patients were asked whether they would recommend the ward to their loved ones.

Nationally, patients treated in 4,500 wards responded to the survey question – and in June, 36 wards got a negative rating. Respondents said they were unlikely or very unlikely to recommend them to family or friends.

After responses were assessed, each hospital was then given a score based on patient satisfaction levels - if every single patient said they would be ‘extremely likely’ to recommend the service the ward would receive a score of 100, if every single patient said they would be ‘neither unlikely nor likely’, ‘unlikely’ or ‘extremely unlikely’ to recommend the service, the trust receives a score of minus 100.

In Wirral, results showed a score of -6 for the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) and -100 for ward 10.

But wards 30 and 31 each came out with scores of 100.

However, overall more than half of those who responded to the question said they would be “extremely likely” to recommend the hospital A&E department. And 63% of inpatients gave the same answer.

Although the tables also highlighted that just 18% of inpatients asked actually responded to the question while 15% of A&E patients handed in their answers.

Neighbouring Countess of Chester saw more than three quarters of respondents saying they were ‘extremely likely’ to recommend the hospital in both A&E and across the wards.

But the test has been slammed as “misleading” by charity the Patients Association.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: "It is so complicated and confusing to navigate from a patients point of view. I'm not sure how it's going to help. No one wants to be ill - or indeed in hospital - so asking people to recommend a hospital is not like asking someone to recommend a hotel.

"Asking that question is not going to address some of the failures that there are in the NHS. This could really be seen as a smoke screen to cover some of the more fundamental issues that need to be addressed - like the issue around poor care that so many elderly people experience on a daily basis. I think that it could be quite misleading from a patient's point of view."

Tim Kelsey, NHS England's national director for patients and information, said: "From this first publication, we can see a significant and real variation in the quality of customer service across the NHS.

"There are home truths here and everyone will expect those trusts who have large numbers of their patients choosing not to recommend their services to respond as quickly as possible.

"It is important, however, this early data is treated carefully. Low response rates can have a dramatically disproportionate impact on scores.

"As more and more patients respond, the data will become more and more robust.

"Just as important is the additional information given around the chosen score, as this can identify the care, the staff, the processes that make a real difference to patients."

Chief executive of the Trust David Allison said they are working with patients and their families to step up standards.

He said:  “We believe that every one of our patients has the right to expect high quality, safe care and as positive an experience as possible. 

"We recognise that we are not currently delivering this for every patient every time and as such we have been engaging with patients, their relatives and carers and our health care partners in a variety of ways in order to learn what we are getting right and where we need to improve.

And director of nursing and midwifery Jill Galvani said the "patient journey" was the hospital's "highest priority."

She said:  “We are committed to ensuring that patients have confidence in the care we give. 

"This means ensuring that every aspect of care, from being kind and compassionate through to making the patient journey as seamless as possible continues to be our highest priority."