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About this guide

The guide draws on the experience of six clinical teams, which took part in a study run by the Health Experiences Research Group (HERG) and Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, at the University of Oxford.*

The project wanted to understand how NHS frontline staff used different types of patient feedback to improve health services, and to develop tools to help them make better use of the data.

Patient experience is an important aspect of quality of care, and improving it is a priority for the NHS. There is a lot of evidence about what matters to patients about their experience of care, but the pace of change is slow. Research tells us there is still a long way to go to make change genuinely and consistently person-centred.

Many of the things that matter most to patients relate to their relationships with, and the behaviour of, frontline staff. This project sought to find the best ways to help staff to use information about patient experience to improve care. To do this it worked to answer these questions:

  • how frontline staff use different types of patient experience data for quality improvement
  • what motivates them to get involved in improvement
  • what helps or hinders this work
  • what can be done to make patient experience data more convincing, credible and practically useful.

The research project observed teams around the country running their own quality improvement projects. It was funded by the NIHR Health Service and Delivery Research Programme and supported by the NIHR CLAHRC Oxford.

This guide builds on resources developed for the teams that took part in the study. It shares core findings and teams’ experiences with other sites, to encourage wide take-up of quality improvement work drawing on patient data. The full study findings will be available in a separate report.

*The research was led by the University of Oxford and funded by the NIHR HSDR 14/156/06. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.