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

What is Patient Feedback?

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

  • Recommendation – This is known as the “Friends and Family test” in the NHS. It shows how likely patients are to recommend the hospital to their friends and family.
  • Needs met – This looks at whether patients felt that their needs were met by the hospital. This includes whether they felt things were explained clearly, they were listened to and could voice their concerns.

How is this information collected?

All patients receiving private hospital-based care should be given the opportunity to fill in a feedback survey, just as they are in the NHS.

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 hospital?

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 hospital has Patient Feedback at all. Hospitals that record and report Patient Feedback are likely to have a stronger commitment to improving their services and providing a good experience for patients.

High Patient Feedback scores show a positive experience, while lower scores or a lack of data may prompt you to question your consultant about the culture of the hospital.

Your checklist

  1. Check whether your local hospital is reporting patient feedback. If they aren’t, what might this say about the hospital’s dedication to improving patient experiences, and what could this mean for your care?
  2. Understand your hospital’s patient feedback. If your chosen hospital has a lower score than other sites, you should ask why this is the case and what they are doing to address it. 
  3. Ask questions. Use our information and the published numbers to ask your GP or consultant about the hospital’s culture. You need to be confident that they are the right hospital and consultant for you.

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