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NHS admin: how does it affect patient experience?

At one time or another, most of us have experienced feeling frustrated by bureaucratic processes, outdated IT systems or unsatisfactory interactions with administrative staff. 

As in many other parts of our lives, when the administrative aspects of a service seem poor (and when they seem good) it can have a significant impact on how we feel about our experience of using it overall. In the case of healthcare, this often comes at a time when we are already feeling anxious. In some cases, administration can also have an impact on the care we receive – for example, if an appointment is delayed. For these reasons alone (though there are many others) NHS administration is important.

Despite this, there has been very little research into NHS administration and its impact on service users, and it is not routinely captured in NHS data. The King’s Fund are kicking off a project to explore patients’ experiences of NHS administration in more detail. As a first step, they reviewed a random sample of over 300 comments written on the Care Opinion website between 2016 and 2018.

This analysis is just the beginning. Over the next few months, The King's Fund will speak to patients and NHS staff to understand the issues around NHS administration in more detail. For more information, see their project page.

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Source: The King's Fund, 13 September 2019


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