HEALTH: First NATIONAL survey of patient experience goes live in five Cork hospitals

26 May 2017
Bryan T. Smyth


Five public hospitals in Cork are participating in the National Patient Experience Survey, a new nationwide survey asking patients for their views on hospital care. These hospitals include Mercy University Hospital, Bantry General Hospital, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Mallow General Hospital, and Cork University Hospital.

With an estimated 27,000 patients eligible to participate, approximately 3,500 of these in Cork, this will be the largest single survey of the healthcare system to be conducted in Ireland. All adult patients who spend at least 24 hours in a public hospital and who are discharged during the month of May will be asked to complete the survey.

The National Patient Experience Survey covers all aspects of a patients’ stay in hospital, including admission and discharge, the ward environment, interaction with staff, and care and treatment. The survey contains 58 tick-box questions and three open-ended questions, where participants have the opportunity to comment on what they found good about the care they received in hospital, and also provide suggestions for improvement.

File photo: Interior of CUH

HIQA’s Rachel Flynn, visiting Cork University Hospital (CUH) today, Friday, encourages all eligible patients in Cork to participate in the survey: “This is a great opportunity for patients to tell us about their hospital experience. By taking part in the National Patient Experience Survey patients can help us to identify areas for improvement, and also tell us the positive work that is carried out every day in Irish hospitals”.

Welcoming the launch of the survey, Tony McNamara, CEO and chair of the executive management board of Cork University Hospital says: “The National Patient Experience Survey is very welcome and will provide CUH with an opportunity to learn directly from patients who have accessed our services. Patients’ feedback on their experience will provide the hospital with an opportunity to improve the planning and delivery of our services.”

It is accepted internationally that the key to creating a better healthcare service is to focus on the patient and to learn from their experiences. With this in mind, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has joined forces with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health to carry out the first ever National Patient Experience Survey.

The results of the survey will be used to improve the standard of hospital care for all patients in Ireland. The responses will help to set priorities for the delivery of better patient-centred care in all Irish hospitals, with the aim of creating more effective and efficient healthcare organisations, both nationally, and in Cork.

The National Patient Experience Survey will allow for comparisons of patient experiences at a hospital-group and national level, but also, for the first time in Ireland, facilitate a comparison with international best practice. Patient experience surveys are regularly conducted in other countries, including Scotland, England, Denmark and New Zealand.

Patients eligible to participate in the National Patient Experience Survey will receive a survey pack in the post approximately two weeks after their discharge from hospital. This pack contains the survey, an information leaflet and a Freepost envelope in which to return the completed survey. The survey can also be completed online up until 26 July 2017.

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