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  • Care Quality Commission: Adult inpatient survey 2021

    Patient Safety Learning
    • UK
    • Reports and articles
    • Pre-existing
    • Original author
    • No
    • Care Quality Commission
    • 18/11/20
    • Everyone


    This survey looks at the experiences of people who stayed at least one night in hospital as an inpatient.

    People were eligible to take part in the survey if they stayed in hospital for at least one night during November 2021 and were aged 16 years or over at the time of their stay.


    The results show some change in people’s experience of inpatient care compared with the previous survey in 2020, and for the most part is a decline in opinions. Areas with the largest increase in negative results are those relating to patients’ fundamental needs, such as getting enough help to wash or keep clean and to eat meals, as well as being able to get help from staff when needed.

    For questions relating to interactions with doctors and nurses, such as being included in conversations, receiving clear answers to questions, confidence and trust, most respondents reported a positive experience, but there has been an increase in those reporting negative experiences.

    Hospital discharge remains a challenging part of people’s experiences of care. Patients were not always involved in decisions about discharge and did not always know what would happen next with their care, with both having deteriorated compared with 2020.

    Interactions with doctors and nurses

    • Most patients (73% for doctors and 74% for nurses) understood the answers to their questions all of the time, but this has decreased compared to 2020 (75% for doctors and 77% for nurses).
    • Similarly, 73% of people always felt included in conversations with their doctors about their care, as did 75% of people with nurses, but again this has decreased compared to 2020 (74% for doctors and 77% for nurses).
    • Most patients (81% for doctors and 79% for nurses) had confidence and trust in the doctors and nurses treating them, but results have decreased from 84% and 83% respectively in 2020.


    • Patients being given information about what they should or should not do after leaving hospital has increased from 70% in 2020 to 78%.

    Key areas for improvement

    Meeting patients’ fundamental needs

    • 70% of patients said they always received help to wash or keep themselves clean, compared with 75% previously.
    • Furthermore, 65% of patients said they always got help to eat their meals, compared with 69% previously.
    • Fewer patients said they could always get help from staff when they needed it: 63% compared with 67% previously.

    Patient discharge from hospital

    • 38% of patients were involved ‘a great deal’ in decisions about their discharge, down from 40% previously.
    • Less than half (45%) of respondents ‘definitely’ knew what would happen next with their care after leaving hospital (46% in 2020).
    • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of patients said they were told who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after leaving hospital; down from 76% previously.
    • Fewer patients said staff discussed with them whether they may need further health and social care services after leaving hospital: 79% compared with 81% previously.
    • After leaving hospital, less than half (46%) of patients said they definitely got enough support from health and social care services to help them recover or manage their condition, which is also a decrease compared with 51% previously.

    Overall experiences

    • Overall experience of inpatient care has decreased for the most positive scores of 9 and 10 (where 10 is a very good experience): 52% compared with 56% in 2020.
    Care Quality Commission: Adult inpatient survey 2021 https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/surveys/adult-inpatient-survey
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