This report of the National Patient Choice Survey for patients referred in February 2010 gives the results of around 69,000 responses to the eighteenth survey commissioned to assess the offer and awareness of choice.
This is a follow-up to the series of surveys that ended in March 2009, conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Department to monitor patient awareness of choice and recall of having been offered a choice of hospital for their first outpatient appointment. The surveys provide a national overview with summary results at PCT level and generally have an effective response rate around 30%.
The main findings of the February survey are:
- The percentage of patients recalling being offered a choice of hospital for their first outpatient appointment was 49% in February 2010, up from 47% in March 2009 and 30% in the first survey (May/June 2006).
- 54% of patients were aware before they visited their GP that they had a choice of hospitals for their first appointment, up from 50% in March 2009 and 29% in the May/June 2006 survey.
- 63% of patients who were aware of choice recalled being offered choice, whereas only 32% of those not aware of choice recalled being offered it, similar to the March 2009 survey (62% and 32% respectively).
- 67% of patients were able to go to the hospital they wanted, with a further 22% having no preference and 8% unable to go where they wanted, similar to 67%, 23% and 8% respectively in March 2009.
- 88% of patients offered choice were able to go to the hospital they wanted, with a further 5% having no preference. This compares with 47% of patients not offered choice being able to go where they wanted and 40% having no preference.
- 77% of patients were satisfied with how long they had to wait from the time their GP referred them to when they saw the hospital specialist.
- A hospital close to home or work was selected most often (by 38% of patients offered choice) as the single most important factor when choosing their hospital.
In accordance with the DH compliance statement on the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order 2008, the pre-release access list is available below