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Health NHS patient feedback is not being used to improve services, report warns

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The NHS is spending millions of pounds encouraging patients to give feedback but the information gained is not being used effectively to improve services, experts have warned.  

Widespread collection of patient comments is often “disjointed and standalone” from efforts to improve the quality of care, according to a study by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Nine separate studies of how hospitals collect and use feedback were analysed. They showed that while thousands of patients give hospitals their comments, their reports are often reduced to simple numbers – and in many cases, the NHS lacks the ability to analyse and act on the results.

The research found the NHS had a “managerial focus on bad experiences” meaning positive comments on what went well were “overlooked”.

The NIHR report said: “A lot of resource and energy goes into collecting feedback data but less into analysing it in ways that can lead to change, or into sharing the feedback with staff who see patients on a day-to-day basis.

NHS England's chief nurse, Ruth May, said: "Listening to patient experience is key to understanding our NHS and there is more that that we can hear to improve it. This research gives insight into how data can be analysed and used by frontline staff to make changes that patients tell us are needed."

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Source: 13 January 2020

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