Understanding and enhancing how hospital staff learn from and act on patient experience data

Lead: Dr Claire Marsh (Yorkshire & Humber Improvement Academy)
Collaborators: Dr Luke Budworth (BIHR), Laura Proctor (Y&H IA), Dr Laura Sheard (BIHR)

It is widely accepted that Patient Experience feedback from hospital patients is vital to delivering high quality care. Previous research, however, suggests that staff are overwhelmed by all the feedback they receive, e.g. from surveys, complaints, PALS, the Friends and Family Test, and internet sites such as Twitter and Patient Opinion. It often does not help them to understand what they need to do to improve and even when they receive good information, they can struggle to use it.
EBT theme of the NIHR CLAHRC YH and the Y&H Improvement Academy worked together on a 32-month action research programme, which is contributing to understanding how hospital staff can use the range of patient experience available to them to improve patient care.  Early in the project, key people from three hospital Trusts, along with 6 patient representatives helped us co-design a prototype Patient Experience Improvement Toolkit, which outlines steps for collating, interpreting and acting on patient experience feedback for improvement. We tested this toolkit, which contains resources and exercises, within six wards from our 3 participating Trusts, and with the support of our patient representatives, continued to refine it during numerous action research cycles on the wards, and in workshops where staff and patient representatives shared the learning arising from their different contexts.

Colleagues in the Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Academy are now leading the implementation the Yorkshire Patient Experience Toolkit https://www.improvementacademy.org/tools-and-resources/the-yorkshire-patient-experience-toolkit.html through an innovative 'Patient Experience Coaches Network   https://www.improvementacademy.org/our-networks/patient-experience-coaches-network.html.  A further project is now underway to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach to implement the Yorkshire Patient Experience Toolkit. 

  1. Marsh, C., Peacock, R., Sheard, L., Hughes, L., & Lawton, R. ' What types of patient experience feedback are available in UK hospitals and what are their potential roles in Quality Improvement (QI)?'. Health Expectations
  2. Sheard L, Peacock R, Marsh C, Lawton R. (2018). What’s the problem with patient experience feedback? A macro and micro understanding based on findings from a three site UK qualitative study. Health Expectations.
  3. Sheard, L., Marsh, C., O'Hara, J., Armitage, G., Wright, J., & Lawton, R. (2017). The Patient Feedback Response Framework–Understanding why UK hospital staff find it difficult to make improvements based on patient feedback: A qualitative study. Social Science & Medicine178, 19-27.
  4. Mills, T., Lawton, R., & Sheard, L. (2019). Advancing complexity science in healthcare research: the logic of logic models. BMC medical research methodology19(1), 55.
  5. Mills, T., Lawton, R. and Sheard, L., 2019. Improving Patient Experience in Hospital Settings: Assessing the Role of Toolkits and Action Research Through a Process Evaluation of a Complex Intervention. Qualitative health research, p.1049732319855960.