Improving healthcare

How surveys can help improve healthcare services

Health services should be shaped by what matters most to patients and the public. The NHS patient survey programme enables the Care Quality Commission and others to build up a national picture of people's experience for comparisons of:

  • performance of different organisations
  • changes over time
  • variations between different patient groups.

Since 2002 over 1.6 million patients have been reported on their recent experiences of NHS care. Before being included in each survey, questions are discussed and tested extensively with patients. They are developed in response to what patients say is important to them about their care and treatment.

Using survey feedback

Patients are asked specific factual questions about what happened to them during their recent healthcare experience. These 'reporting' style questions highlight where the problems are and what needs to be done to improve care.

Once the results are received, each healthcare organisation is encouraged to share and make use of the findings in order to improve their services locally.

Tools and resources

A number of useful guides and factsheets have been produced to help organisations analyse and interpret their data and act on the results. Click here to view and download these documents.

Improvement Guides