Friday, 16 December 2011

Patient Surveys: Intrinsically linked to CQC compliance

The Secretary of State for Health has asserted that ‘nobody wants to be in a position where they treat patients but don’t know what results they achieve’. In response the NHS outcomes framework puts patient surveys at the centre of how quality of care will be measured in the NHS.

Patient surveys provide feedback which enables providers of health care to evaluate patient views, learn from them and improve the levels of satisfaction and experience that their services deliver and the reputation they build. In its early publications on the authorisation process for the emerging GP led Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) the department of health has identified the ‘meaningful engagement with patients, carers and their communities’ as a key assessment area. This should include ‘mechanisms for gaining a broad range of views then analysing and acting on these. It should be evident how the views of individual patients and how the voice of each practice population will be sought and acted on’.

Patient surveys are not new. They have been used in the health service sector for many years. However the NHS outcomes framework emphasis is on how the surveys can be used to improve future performance in the delivery of quality of care. This in turn directly impacts on the levels of patient satisfaction and experience.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), in its role of improving the standards of health and social care, approves and regulates individual providers – both new and existing – against a set of core standards. This includes ensuring that the views of patients, their carers and others are sought and taken into account in designing, planning, delivering and improving healthcare services. The vehicle of choice in this and other area of the core standards, as emphasised in the operating framework, is the patient survey.

On its own the use of the patient survey is insufficient to demonstrate compliance. The survey gathers the data. The analysis and subsequent actions that result from the analysis is what demonstrates compliance to the CQC and other regulatory bodies. This involves an in depth knowledge and practical hands on experience in the management and manipulation of data and the ability to produce well structured, articulated and meaningful reports.

With its has many years of analytical and report creation for health care services and a proven track record in working with organisations to help them achieve CQC and other regulatory compliance status, Words Worth Reading is well placed to provide a survey to solution service for all would be and current providers of health care.

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