28 June 2018
Jessica Morris

Jessica Morris

Research Analyst
Nuffield Trust

This month we updated our patient experience indicators, using data from various national patient surveys. One of the pledges in the NHS Constitution is to “encourage and welcome feedback on your health and care experiences and use this to improve services”. Information from patient experience surveys is key to understanding what service users think about their care and treatment, and to track the quality of care over time. We compared survey responses to measures such as overall experience, confidence and trust, and respect and dignity across a range of NHS and social care services. Note that there are small differences between the surveys in the wording of questions and categorisation of responses.

Overall experience

  • Parents with children who had been admitted to hospital rated their child’s overall experience highly, with over 80% of respondents rating their child’s experience as ‘8’, ‘9’ or ‘10’ (very good).
  • Only 52% of Community Mental Health Survey respondents rated their overall experience of NHS mental health services in the last 12 months as ‘8’, ‘9’ or ‘10’ (very good). This is much lower than the 67% of Emergency Department Survey respondents and 73% of Adult Inpatient Survey respondents who rated their overall experience an ‘8’, ‘9’ or ‘10’.
  • Adult inpatients’ overall experience has improved over time, with the proportion of survey respondents rating their experience as ‘10’ increasing from 23% in 2012 to 28% in 2017.
  • Between 2012 and 2017, the proportion of GP Patient Survey respondents who had a “very good” overall experience decreased from 47% to 43%.
  • Overall experience of GP surgeries was consistently more positive than patient experience of out-of-hours NHS services.
  • Service user satisfaction with adult social care services has remained broadly stable over time, with 62% of respondents “extremely” or “very” satisfied in 2016-17.

Confidence and trust in clinicians

  • In 2017, 82% of Maternity Services Survey respondents “definitely” had confidence and trust in the staff caring for them during their labour and birth. This contrasts to 66% of GP Patient Survey respondents who “definitely” had confidence and trust in the last GP they saw or spoke to.
  • Between 2012 and 2017, there was a gradual improvement of inpatients' confidence and trust in the doctors treating them, but a slight worsening of confidence and trust in GPs.
  • In primary care, patients consistently report higher confidence and trust in the nurses than the GPs, but the opposite is true for inpatients who have higher confidence and trust in the doctors treating them.

Do patients feel involved in decisions about their care?

  • In 2017, 77% of Maternity Services Survey respondents were “definitely” involved enough in decisions about their care during labour and birth.
  • Only 56% of Adult Inpatient survey respondents and Community Mental Health Survey respondents were “definitely” involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment.

Respect and dignity

  • 8% of Community Mental Health Survey respondents felt that they were not treated with respect and dignity by NHS mental health services in the last 12 months.
  • The proportion of Adult Inpatient Survey respondents who felt that they were “always” treated with respect and dignity increased from 78% in 2009 to 82% in 2017.

Are patients told about medication side effects?

  • A higher proportion of Emergency Department Survey respondents were told about medication side effects to watch for compared to Adult Inpatient Survey respondents.
  • In 2017, a greater proportion of Adult Inpatient Survey respondents were not told (43%) than were “completely” told (38%) about medication side effects to watch for when they went home.

Access to GP services

  • The proportion of patients who were able to get an appointment to see or speak to a GP or nurse from their GP surgery the last time they tried decreased between 2012 and 2017.
  • In 2017, one in five GP Patient Survey respondents said that after initially contacting the surgery they only saw or spoke to a GP or nurse “a week or more later”.
  • Of patients who have a particular GP they prefer to see at their surgery, the proportion of respondents who “always or almost always” got to see or speak to their preferred GP decreased from 42% in 2012 to 33% in 2017.

Carer-reported quality of life

  • Between 2012-13 and 2016-17, the average carer-reported quality of life score decreased from 8.1 to 7.7 (out of a maximum score of 12).

Carers' views of social care quality

  • The proportion of carers who were 'extremely', 'very' or 'quite' satisfied with the support they and the person they care for received from Social Services decreased from 77% in 2012-13 to 71% in 2016-17.
  • In 2016-17, 8% of carers responding to the survey said that they “never felt involved or consulted” in discussions about the support or services provided to the person they care for.

For more information, and to view the interactive charts, please visit the QualityWatch indicator pages by clicking on the links.

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