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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Healthcare arrow National Patient Choice Survey, Wave 6
National Patient Choice Survey, Wave 6 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ipsos MORI   
04 Sep 2007

21st August 2007: Since the beginning of 2006, patients have been entitled to a choice of four or more hospitals when referred by their GP. The Department of Health commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake a regular postal survey assessing the implementation of this policy. The results of the first six surveys indicate that most eligible patients are not receiving any choice of hospital provider, despite government exhortations — although the proportion being offered a choice has improved with each wave of research, from 30% in May/June 2006 to 48% in March 2007.

The results of each wave relate to a two-week referral window:

  • Results for the first wave relate to referrals made in May / June 2006 (78,777 responses).
  • Results for the second wave relate to referrals made in July 2006 (70,084 responses).
  • Results for the third wave relate to referrals made in September 2006 (70,580 responses).
  • Results for the fourth wave relate to referrals made in November 2006 (56,928 responses).
  • Results for the fifth wave relate to referrals made in January 2007 (73,000 responses).
  • Results for the sixth wave relate to referrals made in March 2007 (75,290 responses). The March 2007 survey obtained a response rate of 30%.

 

 

 

 

The main findings of the March survey are:

  • More patients recalled being offered a choice of hospital for their first outpatient appointment: 48% compared with 45% in the January survey.
  • Slightly more patients were aware before they visited their GP that they had a choice of hospitals for their first appointment: 37% compared with 36% in January.
  • 66% of patients who were aware of choice recalled being offered choice, whereas 38% of those not aware of choice recalled being offered it, compared with 64% and 34% respectively in the January survey.
  • 36% of patients who were offered a choice of hospital were also offered a copy of the 'Choosing your hospital' booklet, compared with 32% in the January survey.
  • 78% of patients who were offered choice were satisfied with the process and 5% were dissatisfied, similar to the January survey.
  • Location or transport considerations were again given most often, by 66% of patients, as an important factor when choosing a hospital.


Topline Results

  • Results for Wave 1 based on 78,777 respondents.
  • Results for Wave 2 based on 70,084 respondents.
  • Results for Wave 3 based on 70,580 respondents.
  • Results for Wave 4 based on 56,928 respondents.
  • Results for Wave 5 based on 73,000 respondents.
  • Results for Wave 6 based on 75,290 respondents.
  • Fieldwork carried out by postal questionnaire among patients referred in the last two weeks of May 2006 for Wave 1, the last two weeks of July 2006 for Wave 2, the last two weeks of September 2006 for Wave 3, the last two weeks of November 2006 for Wave 4, the last two weeks of January 2007 for Wave 5 and the last two weeks of March 2007 for Wave 6.
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or to the exclusion of don't knows or non-responses.
  • An asterisk (*) indicates a finding of less than 0.5%, but greater than zero.
  • Results are weighted by age within gender to the profile of those with a first outpatient appointment.
  • Base: All unless otherwise stated.

Q1 Before you visited your GP, did you know that you now have a choice of hospitals that you can go to for your first hospital appointment?
 Wave 1Wave 2Wave 3Wave 4Wave 5Wave 6
 %%%%%%
Yes293232353637
No696767646362
Not stated111111

Q2 Were you offered a choice of hospital for your first hospital appointment?

 Wave 1Wave 2Wave 3Wave 4Wave 5Wave 6
 %%%%%%
Yes303538414548
No645957535047
Don't know444444
Not stated222222

Q3 Were you offered a copy of the Choosing Your Hospital booklet by your GP Practice?

Base: All who were offered a choice of hospital

 Wave 1Wave 2Wave 3Wave 4Wave 5Wave 6
Base(23,344)(24,395)(26,472)(23,549)(32,788)(36,035)
 %%%%%%
Yes202627283236
No706462625853
Don't know444455
Not stated666666

Q4 Which of the following best describes how you felt about the process of choosing your hospital?

Base: All who were offered a choice of hospital

 Wave 1Wave 2Wave 3Wave 4Wave 5Wave 6
Base(23,344)(24,492)(26,472)(23,549)(32,788)(36,035)
 %%%%%%
Very satisfied484851515252
Fairly satisfied272727262726
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied151513131313
Fairly dissatisfied333223
Very dissatisfied332323
Not stated444444

Q5 Which three factors, if any, would be most important to you when choosing a hospital?
Top 9 factors

 Wave 1Wave 2Wave 3Wave 4Wave 5Wave 6
 %%%%%%
Location / Transport (accessibility / easy to get to)576866596466
Waiting times222522192121
Reputation of hospital (previous experience / familiarity / confidence)182221182020
Cleanliness (infection free / hygiene / MRSA levels)152018151819
Quality of care (treatment / standards / expertise)171919161716
Quality of staff (friendliness / competence / kindness)898788
Car parking (free / cheaper / easier)687677
Reputation of consultant (specialisms)556456
Appointment time / flexibility / suitable time / seen on time346355
Don't know1*****
Not stated271517272018

Q6 Do you have any comments about your experience of arranging a hospital appointment?
Top 8 factors

 Wave 1Wave 2Wave 3Wave 4Wave 5Wave 6
 %%%%%%
Pleased / satisfied / excellent / good891010910
Efficient / straightforward567677
Quick / quick appointment / seen quicker than expected454454
Takes too long for appointments to come through566556
Waiting time / waiting list too long / delays554343
Staff pleasant / helpful / friendly / polite333333
Good GP / GP arranged appointment / happy to leave it to GP233333
Difficulty with phoning / amount of time to get through / line always busy233233
No comment141715131515
Not stated443436443838
 
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