Health & Care Experience Survey 15/16

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

A survey of over 100,000 people has found that the majority of GP patients and social care users report a positive experience of their care, in particular their experiences of consultations with doctors and nurses.

However, an overarching finding was that respondents were slightly less positive about accessing GP services and the co-ordination of social care services than in previous surveys.

Results of the 2015/16 Health and Care Experience Survey were released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The survey asked respondents about their experiences of GP practices and out of hours care. The survey also asked about experiences of social care services and asked specific questions of those with caring responsibilities.

Care and Treatment

As in the previous survey, patients were generally positive about the actual care and treatment they received at GP practices; 87 per cent of patients rated their overall experience of care by the GP surgery as excellent or good. Ninety five per cent of respondents agreed that their doctor listened to them and a similar percentage felt that they had enough time with the nurse.

Medication was another area where responses were notably positive. The four most positively answered questions relating to GP care were all in relation to medicines.

Patients were less positive about how perceived mistakes were handled. The question was only asked of the small number of patients that believed they had experienced a mistake. However, only 46 per cent of them were satisfied with how it was dealt with.


Accessing GP services continues to be an area of relative concern for respondents. Whilst the majority of patients do report a positive experience of accessing GP services, four of the five most negatively answered GP questions related to issues of access.

Positive ratings for overall arrangements to see a doctor fell by one percentage point to 71 per cent in 2015/16. This continues the downward trend seen in previous surveys, albeit at a lower rate. The positive rating is now ten percentage points below the 2009/10 figure of 81 per cent.

Out of Hours Care

The overall positive rating for out-of-hours healthcare has remained steady from the previous survey at 71 per cent.

Responses varied depending on the out of hours service that patients were treated by. Taken as a whole, the results for patients treated by Primary Care Emergency Centres and by ambulance/paramedics were the most positive.

Social Care

Respondents who used formal care services remained positive about the care and support that they received; 81 per cent of respondents rated the overall help, care or support services as either excellent or good. However, this figure is three percentage points lower than in 2013/14, which is the first time these questions were asked.

As in the last survey, users of care services were most positive about some person-centred aspects of care. For example, 90 per cent reported that they were treated with respect.

Users of care services were least positive about coordination of health and care services; 75 per cent reported that services were well coordinated, which is a decrease of four percentage points from 2013/14.


Around 15 per cent of respondents indicated that they look after or provide regular help or support to others.

Carers were most positive about having a good balance between caring and other activities, with 68 per cent agreeing. However, only around 40 per cent of people felt that services were well co-ordinated and that they felt supported to continue caring.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at

This publication contains results from the 2015/16 Scottish Health and Care Experience Survey. Questionnaires were sent to a randomly selected sample of patients who were registered with a GP in Scotland in October 2015.

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

National statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:

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