HINCHINGBROOKE and Papworth hospitals are both in the top 20 per cent for providing good quality healthcare, according to an independent popularity poll of patients. Both fared well in the poll of in-patients carried out by the Healthcare Commission watchdog late last year. Hinchingbrooke was rated best of the 167 acute and specialist hospitals for giving clear information about medication to patients at the end of their hospital stay, Papworth collected a separate award as one of the country's top 40 hospitals on performance indicators covering mortality, MRSA rates and cancelled procedures. Patients were asked nearly 70 questions, with both trusts scoring highly on most that applied to them, with Hinchingbrooke's including privacy in A&E, confidence and trust in nurses, controlling patients' pain and clear information about medicines. Papworth was proud of its high marks on questions relating to admissions, the hospital ward, staff, care and treatment, and operations. Papworth's scores were particularly high for meeting privacy and dignity needs of patients, and for the time staff took to explain the purpose of the medicines patients needed to take home. Hinchingbrooke was in the bottom 20 per cent for none of the categories surveyed, and generated average scores on waiting for admissions and beds and sharing facilities with patients of the opposite gender. Papworth, the UK's leading hospital for heart and lung conditions, was in the intermediate range for choice of admission dates, among the worst for sharing bathrooms with opposite-sex patients and anaesthetists' explanations, and in the top range for every other relevant question. It was the best in the country for ensuring patients had copies of letters between their hospital doctors and GPs.