How to collect patient feedback

Feedback is usually gained via questionnaires completed anonymously by patients.

  1. Choose a patient feedback template which reflects areas of your practice that you are interested to explore. This could be a more values based approach – does the patient feel involved in decision-making, or a more outcome-based approach – has the patient’s pain improved over a week or 6 weeks. Example templates and information about the NCOR’s patient reported outcome measures work is available..
  2. Plan how you will disseminate the questionnaire to patients and how they will return it to you to get the most constructive and helpful feedback.
  3. Give patients the questionnaire.
  4. Get the questionnaire back.
  5. Analyse the results.
  6. Consider how the results confirm good practice how they might help you to enhance your practice further. Consider discussing this with a colleague – or consider asking patients what you could do to enhance a particular part of your practice. (Do be aware that some patients are concerned about providing direct feedback in case it affects the quality of care given to them).
  7. Develop an Action Plan which identifies what you will do differently.
  8. Consider re-doing the patient questionnaire in a few months time to see if the changes you made to your practice enhance the results of your patient feedback.

What preparation is required?

  1. Consider the method that you will use to collect patient feedback. If you decide to use the NCOR PROMs questionnaires, further information can be obtained from:
  2. Otherwise, consider:
  3. What information you will provide to the patient?
  4. How will you give the questionnaires to the patient – paper or electronic?
  5. Which patients will you give the questionnaire to? Will it be new patients, follow-up patients, only adults?
  6. How will the patient get the questionnaires back? In an anonymous reply paid envelope – in a box on reception? How will you support the patient to remain anonymous?
  7. How long will you run the survey for? Will you choose all new and follow up patients in a week, all new patients in a week, over a day? How will you ensure the best cross section of your patient population?

If you choose to use patient experience questionnaires as evidence of your CPD try to include a minimum of 10 submitted responses from a range of patients. If possible, these should be across the age range of your patient population and should include questionnaires from patients with a range of different presentations and a mixture of new and returning patients.

On the day

  1. Distribute questionnaires to your patients either yourself or via your receptionist. Ask the patients for genuine feedback to help you provide the best service possible! Remind them that their feedback is completely anonymous.

After the event

  1. Analyse the questionnaires.
  2. Identify areas of strength.
  3. Consider any areas for further development
  4. Develop an Action plan. You may find it helpful to speak to a colleague – perhaps your peer discussion reviewer – about this. Patient experience questionnaires can be used to show a quality service, but they may also identify areas where you could improve or enhance your practice further.

In relation to patient feedback, it is also possible to collect data about patient outcomes – or patient reported outcome measures which can be very useful for audit purposes. Further information about patient reported outcome measures is contained in the clinical audit section.

You can also download this information in the pdf below.