8 Survey Response
8.1 The response rate for the survey is the number of forms returned as a percentage of the number of people in the sample. In total, 605,896 surveys were sent to patients and 145,569 were returned completed, giving an overall response rate of 24 per cent. This exceeded the expected overall response rate of 23 per percent, based on response rates to previous surveys of this type.
Overall response rates for NHS Board areas
8.2 The highest response rate for an NHS Board was Orkney (37%) and the lowest response rate was for Greater Glasgow and Clyde (19%). Ten of the 14 NHS Boards met or exceeded the expected response rate for their NHS Board (Table 4). The calculations for the expected response rates are detailed in section 4.8 of this report.
Table 4 Response rate by NHS Board
|NHS Board||Total forms sent out||Number of Responses||Response Rate (%)||Expected Response Rate (%)|
|Ayrshire and Arran||34,687||8,672||25||24|
|Dumfries and Galloway||13,392||4,418||33||36|
|Greater Glasgow and Clyde||202,905||38,354||19||19|
Response rate (actual and expected) by NHS Board
Response rates for GP Practices
8.3 Patients at smaller practices were more likely to respond than those at larger practices (Table 5).
Table 5 Response rate by practice list size
|GP Practice list size||Total forms sent out||Number of responses||Response rate (%)|
|2,500 - 4,999||179,495||41,541||23|
|5,000 - 7,499||148,719||34,917||23|
|7,500 - 9,999||101,766||24,724||24|
Response rate by patient characteristics
8.4 As expected, the response rate was lower for patients living in deprived areas. This was taken into account when the sample sizes were calculated (see Chapter 4 on Sample Design). The response rate ranged from 17 per cent for the patients living in the most deprived areas to 30 per cent for patients living in the least deprived areas (Table 6).
Table 6 Response rate by deprivation quintile6
|Deprivation||Total forms sent out||Number of responses||Response rate (%)|
|1 - Most deprived||151,275||25,133||17|
|5 - Least deprived||92,188||27,191||30|
8.5 The response rate ranged from 20 per cent of patients living in large urban areas to 35 per cent of patients living in remote rural areas (Table 7).
Table 7 Response rate by patient urban/rural location
|Urban / Rural||Total forms sent out||Number of responses||Response rate (%)|
|Large Urban Areas||284,067||55,979||20|
|Other Urban Areas||141,491||34,216||24|
|Accessible Small Towns||39,669||10,571||27|
|Remote Small Towns||17,769||5,191||29|
Response rate by patient urban/rural location
8.6 The response rate increased with age and was highest in the 65-74 year olds (46%). This compared to a response rate of just eight per cent for those aged 17-24 (Table 8).
Table 8 Response rate by age group
|Age||Total forms sent out||Number of responses||Response rate (%)|
|17 - 24||79,308||6,718||8|
|25 - 34||105,973||11,524||11|
|35 - 44||105,577||17,748||17|
|45 - 54||110,065||26,461||24|
|55 - 64||88,746||33,313||38|
|65 - 74||64,069||29,430||46|
|75 and over||52,158||20,375||39|
Response rate by patient age group
8.7 The response rate was higher for females (28%) than it was for males (20%) (Table 9).
Table 9 Response rate by gender
|Gender||Total forms sent out||Number of responses||Response rate (%)|
Method of response
8.8 Of the 145,569 respondents, the majority (95%) sent their surveys back in the post. A total of 7,550 completed their survey online, of which 667 completed the survey using a JAWS7 reader (Table 10).
Table 10 Method of response
|Method of response||Number of questionnaires completed||Questionnaires completed (%)|
|Online via JAWS||667||<1|
|Total number of respondents||145,569||100|
8.9 Of the patients who were sent a questionnaire, 19,566 (3%) were returned as undeliverable or the address was insufficient. A list of these patients has been sent to PSD for investigation. It is likely that this list will include patients who moved away from their address without notifying their general practice. Therefore, feedback of information on these surveys assists the NHS in identifying and correcting administrative records that may require updating.
Email: Gregor Boyd
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