Patients report positive experiences of hospital care, but there is still room for improvement

Date of publication:
National Patient Experience Survey results 2018

The results of the 2018 National Patient Experience Survey have been launched today by Minister for Health Simon Harris TD in St James’s Hospital, Dublin.

The National Patient Experience Survey, the largest survey of its kind in Ireland, ran for the second time in May of this year. The survey asked patients about their experiences of hospital care in order to find out what is working well in our health service, and what needs to be improved.

Over 13,000 people participated in this year’s survey, resulting in a strong response rate of over 50%. The majority of patients (84%) said that they had a good or a very good overall experience in hospital in May 2018.

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD said: “The National Patient Experience Survey is an important piece of work. It gives policy makers and those working in the health service an invaluable insight into the experiences of patients in our hospitals. The overwhelming response shows patients want to have their voices heard and it is absolutely essential the health service listens and responds when they tell their stories of care.

"I am delighted to see that there have been improvements in the discharge and transfer process and in care on the ward from last year’s survey, which shows that the health service is responding to the results of last year’s survey. There is still room for improvement but we are determined to drive reform through Sláintecare and it is vital patients remain at the heart of that change."

Rachel Flynn, Director of the National Patient Experience Survey Programme, said: “The majority of patients, once they were admitted to a ward, spoke positively of hospital care. However, their experiences in the emergency department were less favourable. While improvements in the discharge processes were identified, there is still room for improvement in this area.

“The results of the survey indicate that patients want staff to provide them and their families with more information about their treatment, and would like to be involved in decisions about their care and discharge. We must now listen carefully to what patients have said in this survey and work to deliver a more patient-centred approach to healthcare.”

Liam Woods, HSE National Director of Acute Services, said: “I would like to thank our patients, their families and carers for participating in the second National Patient Experience Survey. Putting the voice of patients at the centre of our healthcare system helps us to focus on delivering the care and services our patients expect and deserve.

”84% of our patients had either a very good or good experience in hospital and this is very encouraging for us all, including our staff, who have worked extremely hard over the last year to implement quality improvement plans in response to last year’s survey findings. Their enthusiasm, encouragement and commitment is very much appreciated and as evidenced in this year’s results, is already making a positive improvement to patient experience in our hospitals.”

The 2018 National Patient Experience Survey report, along with 39 individual reports for all participating hospitals, can be found at www.patientexperience.ie. Find out more about the results of the survey by watching our short animation.

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For further information please contact: Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement (01) 8147480 / 086 2447623 mwhelan@hiqa.ie

Notes to the editor

  •  Patients aged 16 years or over who spent a minimum of 24 hours in a public acute hospital, were discharged in May 2018, and had a postal address in the Republic of Ireland, were eligible to participate in the survey.
  • Patients received the survey by post a few weeks after their discharge. The survey could be completed either online or on paper.
  • The National Patient Experience Survey is a joint initiative by HIQA, as the lead partner; the Health Service Executive (HSE); and the Department of Health.
  • The 2018 survey contained 61 questions on topics such as admission to hospital, confidence and trust in staff, hospital food, care and treatment, and discharge processes.