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Is there a feedback gap?

17/11/15

We look at what recent public polling tells us about people's desire to provide feedback to help care services improve.

Logic tells you that engaging people in the design of current and future care services is an important step in making sure they deliver what people need.

You can’t really understand patient experience of a particular service and identify how it can be improved unless you listen to feedback from those who have used it.

The desire to share

The good news is that, according to recent polling we commissioned, most people who use health and social care services really want to get involved in making them better.

However, our polling also indicated that some of this potential public feedback is being lost, as people are unsure how to share their opinions on their treatment.

People don’t know how to give feedback

For example, while 8 in 10 people (82%) would be willing to share feedback about their GPs to help them improve, almost half (46%) don’t know how to share their views and opinions on GPs.

The same is the case with other areas of care. Over half (55%) of all those who use maternity services are willing to provide feedback but 71% did not know how.

Equally, nearly two thirds of people (62%) who find mental health services relevant, are willing to give feedback, but 68% of people don’t know how to share their views.

Time to tap the potential

Our recently launched annual report ‘People as partners’ outlines many examples of what is possible when the public are able to share their experiences of treatment and care.

The apparent gap between wanting to and knowing how to provide feedback indicates that there is an untapped resource of patient experience which commissioners, providers and professionals are not fully harnessing.

With services aiming to become more person centred, there has never been a better time to ensure that public have the opportunity and means share their experiences of health and care.

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*Survey undertaken between 21st-22nd October 2015. Total sample size was 2,135 adults. Results in this article are based on England only 1,764.   The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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