Skip to main content

14-03-2012 | General practice | Article

Patient experience varies by Trust


Free abstract

medWire News: Foundation Trusts and teaching hospitals tend to deliver the best "patient experience", while performance across the rest of the NHS is variable, a survey of acute care trusts in England has found.

The authors, from health thinktank The King's Fund and the Picker Institute Europe, say the findings reveal "system-wide determinants of patient experience and the potential for learning for innovators."

Veena Raleigh and colleagues obtained data from inpatient, outpatient, and accident and emergency surveys conducted at 145 non-specialist NHS trusts in England in 2008 and 2009.

They analysed patient-reported experiences in six domains: dignity and respect; provision of information; cleanliness; confidence in staff; consistency of communication; and involvement in decisions.

Mean scores on all domains were 70 out of 100 or higher; the exceptions were questions on information on drug side effects and danger signals after discharge, which had particularly low scores.

Cluster analysis indicated that 30 trusts performed consistently above average, six performed consistently poorly, while the remainder showed mixed performance.

Poor-performing trusts were all in London, had the highest mean deprivation scores, and treated the lowest proportion of White patients. By contrast, well-performing trusts tended to be Foundation Trusts and teaching hospitals, were not in London, and treated a higher proportion of White patients. Patient experience did not vary by geographical region, however.

Raleigh and co-authors say the results show "considerable room for improvement," adding: "Improvement strategies need to be undertaken by providers and the healthcare system as a whole."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Joanna Lyford