The Ministry of Health and the Health Quality & Safety Commission are introducing patient experience measures for primary care using online patient surveys. The survey is conducted nationally every three months. The next survey sample week is the 6 to 12 November 2017. Patients enrolled with and seen by participating practices in the survey sample week each quarter may receive a survey invitation via email or SMS. Children under 15 will not be surveyed.

Here is some information to help you implement the survey in your practice.

About the survey

The survey enables patients to have a voice that health teams can hear through a direct and timely link. The survey provides your practice with access to real time reporting via your secure log in through any internet browser. This is funded by the Ministry of Health.

Participation in the survey is a recognised source of evidence towards meeting Indicator 9 of the Foundation Standard and Aiming for Excellence: The practice includes patients’ input into service planning (more detail below).

Here’s what you need to do

There are two distinct sets of instructions for participating primary health organisations (PHOs) and general practices. Be sure to select the correct document specific to your organisation.

Survey timetable

Process Q2 Oct-Dec 2017 Q3 Jan-Mar 2018 Q4 Apr-Jun 2018
Patients with a ‘qualifying encounter’ date at the practice they’re enrolled with, in a set one-week sample period each quarter 6–12 Nov 12–18 Feb 7–13 May
Extract uploaded to national survey provider 22 Nov 28 Feb 23 May
Survey emailed or text to all patients with an email or cell contact 22 Nov 28 Feb 23 May
Real time ‘unweighted’ reports available for the quarter 22 Nov 28 Feb 23 May
Reminder email sent seven days later 29 Nov 7 Mar 30 May
Email/text survey links close after 21 days 13 Dec 21 Mar 13 June
Survey response data files provided to PHOs 15 Jan 23 Mar 15 June
Weighted reports (draft) provided to MOH/DHBs/PHOs by the Commission 23 Dec 26 Mar 22 June
Final weighted reports provided by the Commission 20 Jan 6 April 29 June

Using survey results for quality improvement

This report from The Kings Fund includes a description of how national inpatient survey data has been used for quality improvement (pages 38–44). It includes examples of interventions undertaken in response to survey findings, barriers to using survey data effectively, and identifies three key enablers for using patient survey data. These are:
  i) leadership
  ii) staff engagement 
  iii) trust-wide co-ordination.

Although the report focuses on inpatient surveys in NHS acute trusts in England, it is likely the successes, barriers and enablers are similar to those for primary care surveys and therefore of interest to general practice, primary health organisations and district health boards implementing the primary care patient experience survey.

Downloadable attachments

Last updated 30/08/2017