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Survey tips and useful links

The Trust's survey programmes

As part of the Trust's committment to understanding and improving patient experience, each month a random sample of the following patients / service users are sent a postal questionnaire:

- 1000 patients aged 12+

- 200 parents of 0-11 year olds

- 300 women who have given birth at the Trust

The questionnaire they are sent contains around 30 questions (including an open comments box), mainly selected from the national patient surveys. With response rates at around 50%, these surveys allow us to generate patient experience data down to individual wards. This data supports a number of improvement programmes across the Trust, such as the monthly Trust Board quality dashboard, Divisional Patient Experience Action Plans, and the Productive Ward displays.

At the time of writing (July 2012), nearly 30,000 people have taken part in the monthly survey. Furthermore, within certain confidentiality constraints, all of the data in this database is linkable back to the Patient Administration System (PAS). It is therefore possible to break the data down by any variable held on PAS (e.g. specialty, primary diagnosis, demographics).

In addition to the monthly survey programme, the Trust carries out a bi-annual outpatient survey, which generates responses from around 2,500 patients. Again this data is linkable to PAS.

We welcome enquiries into the use of this dataset for patient experience projects. Please contact paul.lewis@uhbristol.nhs.uk / x23638 to discuss this further.

This survey has been possible due to funding from the Above & Beyond Charity.

Patient surveys from the Picker Insititute

There are many patient experience surveys in existence and so it is often best to "cherry pick" questions from those questionnaires that have already been validated on patients. Wherever possible patient experience questionnaires should use questions from the following source: http://www.nhssurveys.org/localsurveys

If you are carrying out a staff satisfaction survey, you may find that you can use some questions from the National Staff Survey Question Bank.

National NHS Staff Survey 2012 Generic Module: Staff Survey 2012 Health & Safety Module, Staff Survey 2012 Leadership Module, Staff Survey 2012 Patient Experience

If your questionnaire is made up of questions from the Picker Insitute or National Staff Survey then you will usually be eligible to have your survey fast-tracked through the QIS process. This means you will not have to wait for the monthly meeting to have your project reviewed / approved and that we will only really be checking your covering letter, methodology and formating.

Designing Your Own Survey

If you design your own questionnaire, the format of your final questionnaire should look something like this: UH Bristol Example Survey Questions. The key things to look out for here are:

- A Trust logo in the top right corner of the first page

- A short title

- use question numbers

- Response boxes located to the left of each response option, that are symbols rather than drawings (you can cut and paste these directly from the example survey)

- Arial 12 as standard (response boxes are 20)

- If possible, the flow of the questions should follow the "patient journey" and splitting into different sections can be useful (sometimes a short intro at the start of each section can also be useful to help to jog people's memories)

- To save paper you can align response options across the page

- You should route people through the questionnaire based on what questions they need to complete (e.g. Q11 of the example)

- Statement-type questions, or several questions with the same response options, can be organised into a grid format (Q12)

- Use comments boxes (rather than doted lines) for comments

- At the end of the questionnaire, thank participants for their time and provide instructions on how they should return the form

- Don't use acronyms / abbreviations

- If you are doing a postal survey you must do everything you can to ensure that a questionnaire isn't sent to someone who has died. The IT department (e.g. your Divisional IT analyst) should be able to advise on running a deceased-check.