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The head of HIQA’s ‘National Patient Experience Survey’ team, Rachel Flynn, has confirmed that almost 14,000 hospital patients participated in what is the first survey of its kind.

This translates as a response rate of 51 per cent, which Ms Flynn described as: “a fantastic response rate, particularly when compared with similar surveys conducted internationally”.

“We wish to sincerely thank those patients who took the time to tell us about their experience in hospital by participating in this year’s survey”, she added.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, conveyed his thanks to both participants and staff for cooperating with this collaborative effort between HIQA, the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

He stated: “The phenomenal response rate from participants is a real demonstration of the commitment we all share to improving patient care in our hospitals.

“I said at the outset that this exercise is about allowing the voice of the patient to be heard, and I am delighted patients have taken the opportunity in such high numbers to be heard loud and clear. I look forward now to seeing this response translated into real results and improvements for our health service”.

A total number of 27,077 people were invited to participate in the survey, asking patients about their hospital experience from admission, to care and treatment, and discharge.

The survey team will now have to analyse the responses they have received, with a national report due to be published in December. Reports on the six participating hospital groups and the 39 individual hospitals are scheduled to follow early in the New Year and will be available at www.patientexperience.ie.

The aim of the survey is to improve the quality of care provided to hospital patients and each participating hospital will be expected to develop and publish a quality improvement plan in early 2018 in response to the results.

The Department of Health will also study the findings for the development of national policy and future legislation, while HIQA will apply the results of the survey to guide its ongoing inspection work.