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