Scottish Inpatient Patient Experience Survey 2012 Volume 1: National results

The Better Together Scottish Patient Experience Inpatient Survey is a postal survey, first conducted in early 2010, with the aim of establishing the experience of a sample of people aged 16 years and over who had a recent overnight hospital stay. The survey covers six specific areas of inpatient experience: admission to hospital; the hospital and ward; care and treatment; hospital staff; arrangements for leaving hospital; and care and support services after leaving hospital.


1.1 We found there was a slight improvement in the experiences of patients nationally compared to the previous survey in 2011. Scottish inpatients were again generally positive about their hospital stay.

1.2 There were small increases in the percentage of positive responses for 11 questions and small decreases for only two questions. There was also a small increase in the healthcare experience indicator which gives an overall summary of the experience of Scottish inpatients across all aspects of their hospital stay.

1.3 Three NHS Boards (NHS Grampian, NHS Highland and NHS Orkney) showed moderate improvement in the experiences of their patients. NHS Fife was the only board where patients had slightly less positive experiences than the year before. The experiences of patients in the remaining 11 NHS Boards showed little change compared to the 2011 survey.

1.4 The area with the most improvement was people's experiences of the hospital and ward environment. This year slightly more patients indicated that the ward, bathrooms and toilets were clean; they were happy with the food and drink they received; and noise at night was less of a problem.

1.5 Despite the improvements elsewhere, the percentage of patients who were confident that they could look after themselves when they left hospital saw a further reduction by one percentage point to 85 per cent; it had dropped by two percentage points in 2011.

1.6 This year we introduced questions about care and support services that needed to be arranged before patients could leave hospital. Twenty four per cent of patients required care or support services to be arranged after they left hospital. Of these, 82 per cent of patients rated that, overall, the care or support services they got after leaving hospital were excellent or good;

1.7 Other interesting findings from this report

  • Of the six stages of the inpatient journey, patients were most positive about their experiences of the staff and least positive about the arrangements made for them leaving hospital;
  • Overall 85 per cent of patients rated their care and treatment as excellent or good, the same as in 2011;
  • The results were similar to those from the latest survey of inpatients in England.

1.8 These results are from the 2012 Scottish Inpatient Patient Experience Survey. The survey was sent to adult inpatients (aged 16 years old or above on discharge) who had an inpatient hospital stay between October 2010 and September 2011. Results for individual hospitals are available at:


Email: Gregor Boyd

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