Patients are being asked to share their experiences of hospital care during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the National Inpatient Experience Survey

Date of publication:

The National Inpatient Experience Survey — the largest survey of its kind in Ireland — is taking place during the month of September.

The survey will ask patients about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their care and will give them the opportunity to share their experiences of care, as well as what improvements they believe are necessary in Irish hospitals.

This year, patients will be asked about admission to hospital, the ward environment, care and treatment, discharge from hospital, as well as additional questions about their experiences in hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as staff communication while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and contact with family and friends given visitor restrictions.

An estimated 25,000 patients will be eligible to participate in this year’s survey. Since 2017, almost 40,000 patients have completed the survey nationally.

All patients aged over 16 years-of-age who spend 24 hours or more in hospital and are discharged during the month of September are eligible to participate.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD said: “The National Inpatient Experience Survey is an invaluable tool that gives patients a direct say in improving the quality and the safety of our health services.  

“I am delighted that the survey is taking place this year and encourage people to participate. The results from this year’s survey will be particularly important given the changes in our hospitals over the past year. I look forward to receiving the results of the survey to find out what is working well in our hospitals and how the findings will be used to improve patient experience into the future.

“In what has been an exceptionally challenging year for our frontline healthcare workers and hospital staff, they have continued to demonstrate their ongoing commitment and dedication to our patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that the most successful approach to building a safer quality healthcare system is when the health service works together with patients and communities.”

Speaking about the survey, Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards and Director of the National Care Experience Programme, said: “This has been another very challenging year for hospital staff as well as for patients and their families.

“Now, more than ever, it is vital that we develop our understanding of patients’ experiences in Irish hospitals.

“The person receiving care and support should be at the core of everything and services should work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. It is through this survey we can hear from patients and assess how person-centred hospital care is.”

Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE, said: “I would like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of all our hospital staff over the past 18 months and would ask that you continue to encourage all eligible patients to complete this year’s survey.

“Listening to our patients and learning from their experience can help us to make improvements, to better understand what matters to patients and maintain trust and confidence in our hospitals and services.”

To find out more about National Inpatient Experience Survey, visit


For further information please contact:
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
(01) 8147480 / 085 805 5202 /

Notes to the Editor:

  • The National Inpatient Experience Survey is a part of the National Care Experience Programme, a joint initiative by the independent health regulator HIQA, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health.
  • This is the fourth National Inpatient Experience Survey run in Ireland.
  • Eligible patients will receive a survey by post at the end of October. The survey can be completed in paper form or online, and must be submitted by 5pm on 17 December 2021.
  • To be eligible, patients must have a postal address in the Republic of Ireland.
  • The full list of participating hospitals can be found here.
  • The findings of the 2021 survey will be published in 2022 and can be found by visiting The findings of previous surveys can also be found on our website.