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.

This document is part of a collection


12.1 There was a slight improvement in the experiences of patients nationally. Following the publication of the results of the first survey in September 2010, NHS Boards produced action plans to improve the experiences of their patients. As the sampling period for this year's survey was from October 2010 to September 2011, some of the effects of improvement work appear to have begun to be picked up by the survey.

12.2 Overall the findings showed that at a national level the majority of patients reported positive experiences about their hospital stay. There were small increases in the results for 11 questions and only small decreases for two questions. There was also a small increase in the healthcare experience indicator.

12.3 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 2011 survey. The experiences of patients in the remaining 11 NHS Boards showed little change compared to the 2011 survey.

12.4 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.

12.5 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.

12.6 Of the six stages of the inpatient journey, patients were most positive of their experiences of the staff and least positive about the arrangements made for them leaving hospital.

12.7 The experiences of Scottish and English inpatients were similar.

National Results - most positive results

12.8 The areas where patients were most likely to provide positive feedback were the same as last year although the ordering changed slightly:

  • I understood how and when to take my medicines. (97% responded positively);
  • Did the information you were given before attending hospital help you understand what would happen? (96% responded positively);
  • Doctors introduced themselves to me. (96% responded positively);
  • I understood what my medicines were for. (95% responded positively);
  • I had privacy when being examined and treated. (95% responded positively);
  • The main ward or room I stayed in was clean. (93% responded positively);
  • I was treated with care. (93% responded positively);
  • I was treated with respect. (92% responded positively).

National Results - most negative results

12.9 The areas where patients were most likely to provide negative feedback were the same as last year although the order changed slightly13. The statement that most patients responded negatively to was again being told how long that they would have to wait in A&E:

  • In the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E), I was told how long I would have to wait. (31% responded negatively);
  • I was not bothered by noise at night. (30% responded negatively);
  • I knew who was in charge of the ward. (26% responded negatively);
  • I was given help with arranging transport. (25% responded negatively);
  • I was happy with the food and drink that I received. (20% responded negatively);
  • I didn't have to wait too long to get my medicines. (20% responded negatively);
  • I was told about any danger signals to watch for when I got home. (19% responded negatively);
  • I was happy with how long I had to wait around when I was told I could go home. (18% responded negatively).

The results of the survey will be used by NHS Boards and the Scottish Government to improve the quality of healthcare in Scotland by focusing on the areas that people tell us are important to them and where they consider we could do better.


Email: Gregor Boyd

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