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Changes in inpatients' experiences of hospital care in England over a 12-year period: a secondary analysis of national survey data

Changes in inpatients' experiences of hospital care in England over a 12-year period: a secondary analysis of national survey data

Reeves, Rachel and West, Elizabeth (2014) Changes in inpatients' experiences of hospital care in England over a 12-year period: a secondary analysis of national survey data. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 20 (3). pp. 131-137. ISSN 1355-8196 (Print), 1758-1060 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1355819614564256)

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Abstract

Objectives Adult inpatient surveys generate approximately 70,000 responses per year about patients’ experiences of National Health Service hospital care in England. We examine historical data to assess change between 2002 and 2013 and consider the factors that may have stimulated any change.
Methods: Archived national data from National Health Service Inpatient Surveys between 2002 and 2013 (comprising 840,077 patient responders) were obtained. Questions were selected for inter-year analysis if they had been replicated for at least seven years. The percentage of responses in the most positive category was compared for each question’s earliest and most recent year. The statistical significance of differences was tested using chi-square. Also, since such large sample sizes mean that even 1% differences are statistically significant, effect sizes were used to assess the practical significance of those differences.
Results: There were statistically significant (p < .001) increases in positive responses to 35 questions, a significant deterioration for 8 questions and no change for 7 questions. There was one ‘moderate’ improvement (ϕ = 0.3), six ‘small’ improvements (ϕ > 0.1) and one ‘small’ decline, but differences were not meaningful for 42 questions. The greatest improvements were for patients receiving copies of doctors’ letters; single sex ward areas; clinicians’ hand washing; ward cleanliness and planned admission waiting times. The greatest decline was that fewer responders said their call bells were usually answered within 2 min.
Conclusions: More aspects of care have improved than have deteriorated. This study highlights the need for a consistent repeated survey programme to detect changes over the long term, since year-to-year changes tend to be small. The greatest improvements are in areas that can be influenced by organisation-wide interventions and many are associated with top–down government policies, targets or media campaigns. Patients’ evaluations of many aspects of their interactions with clinicians are unchanged or have declined. Further research could test whether ward-specific facilitated communication of survey results to clinicians could drive improvements in clinician–patient interactions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Inpatient survey; Patient experience; Patient satisfaction; Quality improvement
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Family Care & Mental Health
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2017 20:46
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13571

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