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30,000 stories shared by the public about NHS Scotland Services

Update from Care Opinion Scotland

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We are absolutely delighted to announce that we have hit a milestone at Care Opinion! Members of the public have now shared more than 30,000 stories on Care Opinion about NHS Scotland services

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To celebrate this milestone, we were thrilled that National Clinical Director Jason Leitch shared this with us:

“The experience of patients, families and carers is crucial to the staff of the health and care service. Care Opinion has unlocked these experiences and brought them to light to allow celebration and improvement. It has been the most important person-centred change of the last few years. Reaching 30,000 stories illustrates the engagement and the scale of the work.”

People share their stories with Care Opinion for many reasons. They want to share what went well for them, what could be improved, so people hear about their experiences and importantly that their stories will lead to learning and change. 

We can see that this is happening in Scotland as the public have been very engaged with sharing their stories, with more than 30,000 and counting. We see that staff and services are listening, with more than 38,500 responses to these stories, in which staff and services tell authors how they are using and sharing their stories, so they can learn and change as a result of the feedback. We can also see that these stories are being shared and read widely by other members of the public, as well as staff and services, as these stories have been read more than 15 million times.

Scotland was the first country to take a whole systems approach to online patient feedback using Care Opinion, and being on the cutting edge has enabled health services to learn so much from what the public have shared. Year on year stories numbers have increased, in 2021/22 4,696 members of the public shared their stories and already in 2022/23 more than 3,600 stories have been shared.

At Care Opinion we regularly hear from staff about the impacts that Care Opinion stories have on them and their services. From the increased staff morale they see from the positive stories they receive, helping them to reinforce good practice. To the learning, improvements, developments and change that come from when things don’t go so well for patients. One staff member from a health board shared with us:

“The importance of patient and family feedback, especially in these difficult times, cannot be under estimated. Care Opinion is our biggest source of positive feedback which is especially important to staff at this time. The impact of reading feedback from a grateful patient or family member on staff’s wellbeing is extremely important and can be a boost to staff morale.

Whilst no one wants our patients to have a negative experience, it is important to us that when they do, we know about it so that learning and improvement can take place in a timely manner to prevent other patients having the same poor experience. Care Opinion provides an excellent platform for quick and effective change based on real patient experience."

This year we also hit another milestone, we now have more than 3,000 members of staff across NHS Scotland services reading stories, listening to what the public have to share about their services and responding to the public to show how they are using this feedback. With the growing number of staff listening and responding, this increases the opportunities for staff to learn from the stories that are shared.

Lastly and most importantly, we want to thank the patients, service users, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, carers, friends and family, who have taken the time to share these 30,000 stories. Care Opinion only exists through the willingness of the public to share their experiences of healthcare services, for which the Care Opinion team and healthcare services and staff across the country are very grateful.

I wanted to end this blog with a quote from an author who told us why they posted their story on Care Opinion, this is what they had to say:

“I had such a positive experience that I wanted others to know about it especially if they were in any way apprehensive about being admitted there or the well-being of relatives. I wanted this story to be read by patients, relatives, friends, the NHS authorities and most of all the staff working at the coal face.”

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