Publication - Statistics dataset

Scottish Inpatient Experience Survey 2016 Volume 1: National Results

Published: 30 Aug 2016
Health Performance and Delivery Directorate
Part of:

Report detailing the results from the Scottish Inpatient Experience Survey 2016.

92 page PDF

4.5 MB

92 page PDF

4.5 MB

Scottish Inpatient Experience Survey 2016 Volume 1: National Results

92 page PDF

4.5 MB


The Scottish Inpatient Experience 2016 is a postal survey which was sent out in January 2016 to a random sample of people aged 16 years or over who had an overnight hospital stay between April and September 2015. This is now the fifth inpatient survey, with previous versions having been conducted in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

The survey asks about people's experiences of:

  • admission to hospital
  • hospital and ward environment
  • care and treatment including errors
  • operations
  • hospital staff
  • arrangements for leaving hospital
  • care and support services after leaving hospital

This report presents the detailed national findings from the survey. High level results for NHS Boards are also presented but individual reports with more detailed findings hospitals and NHS Boards are available at:

Details of the survey design, fieldwork and analysis are available in the Inpatient Experience Technical report:

The Scottish Care Experience Programme

The Inpatient Experience Survey is one of a suite of national surveys which are part of the Scottish Care Experience Survey Programme. The surveys aim to provide local and national information on the quality of health and care services from the perspective of those using them. They allow local health and care providers to compare with other areas of Scotland and to track progress in improving the experiences of people using their services.

Information about the other national care experience surveys is available at:

The survey programme supports the three quality ambitions of the '2020- Vision' (or Quality Strategy) [ 1]

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Person-centred

by providing a basis for the measurement of quality as experienced by service users across Scotland.

In particular the surveys support the person-centred quality ambition which is focused on putting people at the centre of care, ensuring that care that is responsive to individual personal preferences, needs and values, and assuring that individual values guide all care decisions.

The inpatient survey was carried out in partnership with Information Services Division( ISD Scotland, part of NHS National Services Scotland) [ 2] whose role included sampling inpatients, producing analysis of NHS Board / hospital and national data and undertaking local reporting. The administration of the survey fieldwork was undertaken by an approved survey contractor Quality Health Ltd.

Aims of the Inpatient Experience Survey

The survey's specific aims are:

For local improvement

  • provide NHS hospitals with feedback on the experiences of their patients, relative to previous surveys and other areas in Scotland
  • provide NHS Boards with information on experiences in their respective board areas and on variation within and between boards

National policy

  • provide national results for the survey, identifying variation within and between local areas and if and how the level of positive and negative experiences have changed over time
  • highlight areas of best practice and areas for improvement
  • provide information for the National Performance Framework Indicator 'Improve the quality of the healthcare experience in Scotland'
  • explore the variations in the experiences of different groups of patients

Survey design

The questionnaire and survey design are substantially similar to those used for the 2014 survey.

In consultation with NHS Boards, a small number of changes were made to the 2016 survey questionnaire:

  • one new question was introduced relating to cleanliness of equipment
  • a small number of the existing questions were changed to ensure that they still capture what is important to people

Full details of the changes made to the survey materials are contained in the technical report:

Survey fieldwork and response

The inpatient sample was designed to provide results for:

  • 121 individual hospitals
  • 14 NHS Boards
  • Golden Jubilee Foundation ( GJF)
  • Scotland

The survey was sent to a sample of adult inpatients (aged 16 years old or above on discharge) who had an NHS inpatient hospital stay (at least one overnight stay) between April and September 2015.

The fieldwork was undertaken by Quality Health Ltd, an approved survey contractor on behalf of the Scottish Government and commenced on 20 January 2016. In total, 43,901 survey packs were sent to people and 17,767 were returned, giving an overall response rate of 40%.

Demographics of respondents

We asked a number of questions about peoples' demographic characteristics (Table 1).

Table 1 Respondent demographics

Demographic Characteristic % Respondents
  Male 43
  Female 57
  Heterosexual/ Straight 97
  Gay/ Lesbian, Bisexual or Other 3
Age: 16-34 5
  35-49 10
  50-64 26
  65-74 26
  75+ 33
Indicated health status: Good 43
  Fair 43
  Poor 14
Indicated day-to-day activities: Limited a lot 34
  Limited a little 32
  Not limited 34

Data analysis and interpretation

The survey data was collected by the contractor Quality Health Ltd. Anonymised data was then securely transferred to ISD Scotland who carried out the analysis.

In general, results are presented as the percentage of people reporting a positive experience. Such percentages are calculated excluding anyone from the denominator who did not answer the question or answered "not relevant" or "don't know".

Throughout the report, weighted percentages have been presented unless otherwise stated. Further information on how weights were calculated and applied can be found in the technical report.

The results have been reported to the nearest whole percentage, due to rounding the sum of some positive, negative and neutral results may not add to 100 per cent.

Differences from the 2014 survey results are only highlighted and discussed if they are statistically significant. Results in tables are marked in bold if they are significantly better or worse than in 2014. Further information on this is available in the technical report.

These statistics have been independently assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and are designated as National Statistics. The assessment report is available at:


Email: Nicola Kerr,