Exploring differences in experience - Inpatient Experience Survey – 2016

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

The Inpatient Experience survey 2016, published in August 2016, surveyed over 17,000 people and found that the majority of hospital patients report a positive experience of their care. Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published an additional report on the Inpatient Experience survey, exploring the differences in experience of people using hospital services.

The Inpatient Experience survey asked people about their experiences of: admission to hospital; the hospital ward environment; care and treatment including errors, operations, hospital staff, arrangements for leaving hospital, and care and support services after leaving hospital.

The report published today looks at whether certain characteristics or factors are associated with people’s experience of hospital care. Age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, deprivation, health status, and how people were admitted to hospital are some of the factors investigated.

In general, the following characteristics and factors have an effect on people’s inpatient experiences covering large sections of the inpatient experience survey, although different areas of care show differing results:

  • People reporting fair or poor health were significantly more negative than those reporting good health.
  • People with pre-existing health conditions were significantly more negative than those with no pre-existing condition.
  • Older people were significantly more positive than younger people.
  • Males were significantly more positive than females.
  • People who were admitted as an emergency were significantly more negative than those who had a planned admission to hospital.
  • People being treated in General, Community and Other hospitals were significantly more positive, whereas those being treated in Large General hospitals were significantly more negative than those being treated in teaching hospitals.
  • People who live in SIMD 4 or SIMD 5 (least deprived) areas of Scotland were significantly more negative than those living in SIMD 1 (most deprived).

It is important to note that it is difficult to explain differences in experience as variation is a complex issue. The variation reported here could reflect real intergroup differences in the services received; or intergroup differences in subjective factors such as expectations or perceptions; or a combination of both. Due to the complexity of the findings readers are advised to consider overall patterns and avoid over-interpretation of the individual results.


The full statistical publication is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/04/3075

The Inpatient Experience Survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government, in partnership with ISD Scotland, on behalf of Health Boards as part of the Scottish Care Experience programme. The survey administration and local reporting was undertaken by Quality Health Ltd.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About


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