6. Data Entry and Fieldwork Quality Control
Once respondents received the initial letter, they could complete the questionnaire online or via the survey helpline. Data from these responses was captured automatically for the online questionnaire, or by the helpline team for telephone completions.
Following the reminder letter, paper copies of questionnaires received were logged and scanned on a daily basis by staff at Quality Health Ltd. A verification process was then carried out for each batch scanned and a number of integrity checks were undertaken to ensure that the scanning process had worked correctly and all data had been captured as expected.
Data from online questionnaires is automatically stored alongside the data from the paper questionnaires, and held separately from the names and addresses of people who were sampled for the survey.
Verification and Upload Process
Once captured, all data were checked in house by Quality Health Ltd according to pre-set verification rules, by staff who have been given training and detailed instructions about the survey. The data entry system ensured that only valid answer codes for each question could be entered and that the correct data appeared in each field. Other checks included ensuring that numeric data was the correct format and that fields were not truncated in error.
Once the survey responses were transferred to Public Health Scotland and SG statisticians, further validation checks were run on the data to ensure data integrity was maintained.
The names and addresses of people who were selected for the survey were stored securely by Quality Health Ltd until the survey work was completed.
Once processed, all returned questionnaires were immediately stored by Quality Health Ltd in labelled containers and archived in a secure room on-site until they reached their agreed destruction date. Scanned completed questionnaires will be held by the survey contractor for three years then destroyed as there will no longer be a need for them.
Quality Health Ltd keep a copy of the pseudonymised respondent dataset for five years as a back-up; this will not contain any patient identifiable information.
Free Text Comments
The survey asked respondents if there was anything else that they would like to tell us about their experiences of their local GP practice, Out of Hours health care, or Care and Support services.
Just over 47,614 respondents left comments with 43,090 relating to the GP Practice, 7,469 relating to Out of Hours Healthcare, and 6,287 relating to Care, Support and Help With Everyday Living.
Details that could be used to identify people were redacted when the comments were entered by staff at Quality Health Ltd. These details included personal names, addresses, medical conditions and dates. Staff names were also redacted.
Quality checks were undertaken on records to ensure that the instructions for redacting details that might identify an individual were followed.
Analysis on the free text comments will be carried out and reported separately from the national results published on 10th May 2022.
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