Do people feel involved in decisions about their care?

To understand the quality of services that the NHS delivers, it is important to understand what people think about their care and treatment. The inpatient and outpatient surveys ask users whether they were involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment.

Have the perceptions of people feeling involved in their inpatient care changed?

The proportion of people who definitely feel they have been involved in decisions about their care and treatment has increased from 53% in 2005 to 60% in 2015. The proportion who felt they had not been involved decreased slightly to 9% in 2015 from 11% ten years earlier.

Updated August 2016.

How have the perceptions of people feeling involved in their outpatient care changed?

The majority (72%) of outpatients surveyed in 2011 felt they were ‘definitely’ involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment. This was a small increase on the 2009 result (70%) which had not changed since the first time the survey took place, in 2003. This increase was offset by a decrease in the percentage of outpatients who reported they were involved to ‘some extent’ in decisions about their treatment and care. There had been no change across all years in the percentage of outpatients who reported that they were not involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment.

The outpatient survey was discontinued in 2011.

Do inpatients feel they were given enough information about their treatment or condition?

There has been little variation in how much information respondents felt they were given about their condition. The majority of respondents (80%) felt they received the right amount of information about their condition or treatment and this did not change significantly from 2005 to 2014. Over this period, one-fifth of respondents felt they did not receive enough information and 1% felt they received too much.

The picture looks different in A&E, where 9% of respondents in 2015 said they were not given any information about their treatment or condition. This has decreased from 12% in 2005. 77% of respondents in A&E felt they had received the right amount of information, up from 74% in 2006 (Data not shown).

Updated August 2016.

Do outpatients feel they were given enough information about their treatment or condition?

The proportion of outpatients reporting that they had the right amount of information about their condition or treatment was similar to inpatients and varied between 80% and 83%. In 2011 it was at its highest of 83% - a significant change from 2009, suggesting an improvement in the amount of information provided for outpatients. Although it is not an answer category in the Adult Inpatient Survey, for outpatients the proportion who felt they weren't given any information or not enough information decreased over time. Interestingly, not a single outpatient reported being given too much information in all the years of the survey.

The outpatient survey was discontinued in 2011.

About this data

These indicators draw on data from the Adult Inpatient Survey and the Outpatient Survey (which was discontinued in 2011).

The results from 2005-14 were taken from analysis undertaken in November 2015 on the trends over the period. To enable fairer comparisons between years, data was standardised to account for demographic differences in respondents. All data points were adjusted to the age, gender and admission route profile of respondents in 2014. 2015 results are standardised to the demographic profile of 2015 in terms of age/sex/route of admission. This is acceptable when comparing year-on-year results because of the relatively limited annual change in the demographic profile of the overall set of respondents. However, over longer periods, the small annual changes accumulate and need to be taken into account, and further standardisation needs to be applied (see more).

The results (percentages) from each provider are given equal weight in calculating the England results. Some providers have a higher response rate than others and would therefore have a greater influence over the England average.

To correct this, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) applies a ‘weight’ to the data. As a result of applying this weight, the responses from each provider have an equal influence over the England average, regardless of differences in response rates between providers.

Results (percentages) are presented from CQC's national reports and have been rounded up or down to whole numbers. If two response categories are added together (such as ‘very good’ and ’good’), the resulting figure will be slightly different to the figures reported elsewhere, because these used results to at least two decimal places. Likewise, columns may not add up to exactly 100% due to the rounding.

For more information please see NHS Surveys: Current surveys, Previous surveys

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