Patients’ overall experience of NHS and social care services

We explore how overall patient experience of NHS and social care services has changed over time.

Indicator

Last updated: 28/06/2018

Patient experience
Primary and community care Hospital care Emergency care Mental health Social care

To understand the quality of services that the NHS and social care delivers, it is important to know what people think about their care and treatment. The national patient experience surveys ask service users overall how they rated the care they received.


How does overall patient experience compare across NHS services? 28/06/2018

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A number of national patient surveys ask service users to rate their overall experience on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 10 (very good). It is useful to compare people's responses to understand how experience varies across NHS services.

Parents with children aged 15 and under who had been admitted to hospital as an inpatient or day case were asked in the Children and Young People's Survey how they felt about their child's overall experience. They responded the most favourably, with 37% of respondents rating their child's experience as 10 (very good) and only 0.7% rating their experience as 0 (very poor). In contrast, only 20% of Community Mental Health Survey respondents rated their overall experience as 10 (very good) and 3% of respondents rated their experience as 0 (very poor). 28% of Adult Inpatient Survey respondents rated their overall experience as 10 (very good), with 1% rating their experience as 0 (very poor). 27% of Emergency Department Survey respondents who had attended type 1 departments rated their overall experience as 10 (very good) and 2% rated their experience as 0 (very poor).

The differences in responses between the surveys may reflect the demographics of respondents, as well as experience of services.  For example, older people tend to respond more positively in surveys, and a higher proportion of inpatients are in older age groups compared with community mental health service users.


How have patients' overall experience of their GP surgery changed over time? 28/06/2018

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All GP Patient Survey respondents are asked "Overall, how would you describe your experience of your GP surgery?". Patients who have, in the past 6 months, tried to contact an NHS service when they wanted to see a GP but their GP surgery was closed are also asked how they would describe their last experience of out-of-hours NHS services.

The proportion of GP Patient Survey respondents who rated their overall experience of their GP surgery as "very good" decreased over time from 47% in 2012 to 43% in 2017. The proportion of respondents who rated their overall experience of their GP surgery as "very poor" increased from 0.9% in 2012 to 1.4% in 2017. 

Overall experience of GP surgeries is consistently more positive than patient experience of out-of-hours NHS services. In 2017, only 31% of respondents who had tried to contact out-of-hours NHS services in the past 6 months reported their experience as "very good", while 7% had a "very poor" experience. Note that people who responded "don't know/can't say" have been excluded for comparison purposes.


How have adult inpatients' overall experience changed over time? 28/06/2018

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Adult Inpatient Survey respondents are asked how they rate their overall experience, on a scale of 0 (I had a very poor experience) to 10 (I had a very good experience). The proportion of respondents who rated their overall experience as 10 (I had a very good experience) increased from 23% in 2012 to 28% in 2017. The proportion who rated their experience as 0 (I had a very poor experience) remained steady over time at 1%.


How have service users' satisfaction with adult social care services changed over time? 28/06/2018

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Adult Social Care Survey respondents are asked "Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the care and support services you receive?". Answers to this question have remained largely stable over time. In 2016-17, 27% of respondents said that they were "extremely satisfied" with the care and support services they receive, 35% of respondents were "very satisfied" and 1.1% were "extremely dissatisfied".


How have patients' overall experience of NHS dental services changed over time? 28/06/2018

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Patients who tried to get an NHS dental appointment in the last two years are asked in the GP Patient Survey, "Overall, how would you describe your experience of NHS dental services?". Between 2012 and 2017, the proportion of respondents who had a 'very good' or 'fairly good' overall experience increased from 83% to 85%. In 2012, 8% of respondents had a 'very poor' or 'fairly poor' overall experience, and this decreased to 6% in 2017.


About this data

These indicators draw on data from the Adult Inpatient Survey, the GP Patient Survey, the Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey, the Children and Young People's Survey, the Emergency Department Survey and the Community Mental Health Survey.

For each CQC survey, two weights were applied to the survey results data: a trust weight to ensure that each trust contributes equally to the England average, and a population weight, to make sure each trusts results are representative of their own sample and do not over represent groups such as older respondents. A combination of the two weights resulted in one single weighting which was applied to enable comparisons between years.

Note that data from the most recent survey publications were used for comparison. Our comparison across NHS services did not adjust for differences in survey populations; therefore, the results may not be directly comparable.

For more information please see NHS England, National Patient and Staff Surveys and NHS Digital, Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey.

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