News from the NHS Patient Survey Programme

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National Statistics

NHS Patient Survey Programme

Quarterly bulletin - January 2020

Your opinion matters

Changes to the survey programme - please tell us what you think.

We are looking at ways to change and improve the survey programme by encouraging people to complete surveys online (including via smart phones) rather than only using paper based questionnaires as we do now. We call this ‘on-line first’. We are also looking at other ways to invite and remind people to take part in the surveys such as use of SMS text messages, and maybe in the future, via email.

As this is a big change we want to make sure that this is the best way to continue collecting feedback on people’s experiences of NHS services. We know it probably won’t be right for everybody so we are carrying out testing and engagement work to understand the impact and to make sure the survey programme is as inclusive and accessible as possible.

The Coordination Centre for Mixed Methods which is based at Ipsos MORI has been working with some trusts to test out these changes. We are testing methods of using online questionnaires and SMS reminders with adult inpatients, women who have recently had babies, and children, young people and their carers. This work is currently underway and we will be accessing our first set of pilot results at the end of January.  

We would also like your help to understand what users of the survey data think about these changes and if you have any concerns about how it might impact on your use of the data or the survey results. Please help us to understand this and have your say by completing this questionnaire. It should only take you a few minutes and all responses are confidential. The survey closes on the 24th January 2020.

Results from this survey, and also from the pilot work are expected to be published on the CQC website by March 2020.

Recent survey publications

This year we have published the results of four surveys. Please also watch out for the publication of the 2019 Maternity Survey on 28 January 2020.

Inpatient Survey 2018

In June we published the results from the 2018 Inpatient Survey. The survey looked at the experiences of 76,668 people who were discharged from an NHS acute hospital in July 2018.

Results showed trust and confidence in doctors and nurses remains relatively high (though has dropped since 2017), most patients (over 90%) reported that they had enough privacy, and communication between patients and staff remained a positive experience for most.

In other areas, results are stagnating or declining. People’s experiences of the integration of their care have worsened with fewer people reporting discussions with staff about the need for further health and social care services when they left hospital. In 2018, more patients felt they waited too long to be admitted to hospital and  results around medicines management also deteriorated.

Certain groups of patients consistently reported poorer experiences of their time in hospital, including:

  • Patients with a mental health condition
  • Younger patients (aged 16 to 35)
  • Patients who were admitted in an emergency

See the inpatient survey publication page for full details.

Urgent & Emergency Care (UEC) Survey 2018

In October the 2018 UEC survey published. It collected information on the experiences of more than 50,000 people who received care in September 2018. The survey looked at people’s experiences of using Type 1 (major A&E) and Type 3 (urgent care centres, minor injury units, urgent treatment centres) services.

Results showed that the majority of people were positive about most aspects of the urgent or emergency care they received. Despite widely recognised pressures and challenges on UEC services, most results have not significantly changed between 2016 and 2018. Areas where results were less positive point to pressures on staff time or flag persistent issues with leaving hospital or the urgent care centre, a common improvement theme found in other NHS Patient Surveys.

See the UEC survey publication page for further information.

New CYP Survey Image

Children and Young People's Patient Experience Survey 2018

The 2018 Children and Young Peoples Survey published in November. The survey collected information on the experiences of 33,179 children and young people under the age of 16 who received care in November or December 2018.

Experiences were generally positive overall, for example, most children thought they were well looked after and that staff were friendly. Children and young people, as well as their parents, were positive about basic communication, information before operations, feeling able to ask staff questions and the answers they received. However, many children and young people reported that they did not feel involved in decisions about their care, were not able to play or do any activities with staff, that there were not enough things to do in the hospital, and, as found across other surveys, reported comparatively poor experiences on questions about their discharge from hospital.

See the full results on the children and young people’s survey publication page.

Community Mental Health Survey 2019

In November we also published the results from the 2019 Community Mental Health Survey. It collected information on the experiences of 12,551 who received care in September, October or November 2018.

The results showed that people’s experiences of mental health remain poor across most areas. Many of those areas, such as accessing and planning care, identified as in need of improvement in 2018 have declined further in 2019, continuing the negative trend of results consistently declining between 2014 and 2019.

See the full results on the community mental health survey publication page.

Surveys that are live

The 2019 Inpatient survey is currently underway. Fieldwork began in September 2019 and will complete in January 2020.

Two surveys are due to launch shortly:

  • Community Mental Health Survey (fieldwork to run February to June 2020).
  • Maternity Survey (fieldwork to run April to August 2020)

For full details, please see the survey programme planner which sets out dates for future surveys, and expected publication dates, and can be found on the CQC website.

People Talking

Thank you!

A big thank you to everyone who has been involved with or taken part in the surveys in 2019. Special thanks to the trusts and people who have given their time to participate in, or share feedback with us, as part of our trials for online survey methods.  If you haven’t yet been involved but would like to be, please get in touch.

We are always pleased to receive any feedback and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at:

For more information about any of our surveys or the programme in general please visit our website.

We thank you for your continuing support and we look forward to working with you in 2020.