Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2015-16: technical report

Postal survey that was sent to cancer patients who had an inpatient stay or hospital visit as a day case, as well as a cancer diagnosis.

This document is part of a collection

Appendix E: Contractor Guidance on Patient Comments

Proofing comments

  • The file will need to be spell checked in the first instance - firstly using the spell check facility in excel (ensuring it is on English UK).
  • Each comment must then be thoroughly proof read to correct any further spelling mistakes, typos, issues with punctuation. Do not correct the comment for grammatical errors - the comment should be presented as the respondent has written it, even if it is grammatically incorrect. This process must be done carefully and without changing the original context of the comment.
  • A key part of the proofing process is to ensure that comments have been properly anonymised to ensure the respondent's identity is protected. This involves removing any personal details or references including any staff / patient / ward / unit names or any other specifically detailed information such as diagnosis or tests or procedures done that could allow the respondent to be identified. Hospital names can be left in unless you are specifically instructed not to include these. This level of anonymisation should have taken place when the comments were first typed and you should see examples of this throughout the file where identifiable details have been removed and replaced with the following types of references - [name removed] / [job title removed] / [details removed]. These references should always appear in square brackets like this [ ] - if they are in normal brackets then please replace these with the square brackets for consistency. If you find instances of personal details that have not been successfully removed (unless there are specific instructions to leave them in for the particular survey you are working on), then please remove these details and replace them using the formulation described above. If in doubt, please seek clarification from a manager. Therefore, the following example alternatives should be used using the square brackets shown below:

Identifiable Information

Example of substitution

Mary Jones was in the bay beside me

Patient [name removed] was in the bay beside me

Nurse Smith was very nice

Nurse [name removed] was very nice

Dr I. Smith was very nice

Dr. [initial and name removed] was very nice

I did not like Dr Brown's bedside manner

I did not like Dr [name removed] bedside manner

I work as a male midwife on Trinity Ward

I work as a [job title removed] on Ward [name removed]

My Manager is the Director of Nursing and I have been abused and bullied

My Manager is the [name/title removed] and I have been abused and bullied

Date e.g. 10/05/2013

[date removed]

Mention of correspondence e.g. "official complaint", "letter to NHS Board", "letter to newspaper.

[correspondence removed]

Exact ages e.g. 29, eighteen

[age removed]

  • If you cannot identify a word then you can type [word unreadable].
  • Any obscenities should be replaced with [obscenity removed].
  • You need to enter data in all comments boxes available before you can move to the next survey - for any blank boxes use a full stop.
  • Do not use CAPITAL letters.
  • reversed letter e.g. "teh" rather than "the" and other typos "i" rather than "I". Amend as necessary.
  • When reading each comment in its entirety, it should be 'sense checked' to identify any unusual circumstances, detailed description of events or other very specific detail which could potentially lead to a person being identified. If any such reference is present, it should be removed to protect the identity of the respondent.
  • Any comments which may need escalating under the Duty of Care policy should be immediately raised with a Manager - these include examples of respondents talking about allegations of abuse, self-harm, harm to others or suicide.
  • If you are in doubt at all about the application of any of these rules against a specific comment, please ask for a 2nd opinion from a Manager - it is always better to check than risk revealing a respondents identity. You will have the final check on this document before it is sent to the client so it is important that these rules are followed thoroughly and carefully to fully protect the identity of all participants.


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