A guide to patient feedback for consultants and how you can use this information to inform discussions with your consultant.

What is Patient Feedback?

Patient feedback gives a view of how patients felt about their treatment by a consultant. There are two different areas where patients give feedback:

  • Recommendation – This shows how likely patients are to recommend the consultant to their friends and family.
  • Needs met – This shows whether patients felt that their needs were met by the consultant. This includes whether they felt things were explained clearly, whether they had enough time with their consultant, and whether the consultant showed them understanding when assessing their care needs.

How is this information collected?

All patients receiving private hospital-based care should be given the opportunity to fill in a feedback survey on the care provided by their consultant. The survey is usually administered by the hospital, not by the consultant, which may allow patients to be more honest in their feedback.

All of the responses are sent to PHIN, which we use to calculate the percentage of patients which responded positively to the survey questions in each area.

While this cannot provide as much detail as a written review, it does provide a good overview of the experience of a range of patients.

What can Patient Feedback tell you about a consultant?

Patient feedback cannot tell you about safety and quality on its own. While patients that have a poor medical outcome may be more likely to provide negative feedback, the survey doesn’t directly deal with medical competence. 

Instead, it gives an indication of how patients felt they were treated and looked after during their stay.

The first thing you may wish to check is whether the consultant has patient feedback at all. While the consultant has no direct input into this process, a lack of feedback may prompt you to question the consultant about the culture of the hospital where they operate. 

A high patient feedback score shows most patient had a positive experience, while lower scores or a lack of data may prompt you to ask questions of your consultant.

Your checklist

  • Check whether your consultant has patient feedback information in their profile. If they don’t it may lead you to question the culture of the hospitals where they practice.
  • Understand your consultant’s patient feedback. If they have lower scores than other consultants, you should question why and seek reassurance that your questions and concerns will be listened to.
  • Ask questions. Patient feedback alone cannot tell you the full story, so this information is best used to inform a conversation with your consultant.

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