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Celebrating 1st year of online feedback within Sexual health services

Update from Inclusion

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picture of Julia Barraclough

I am one of the Service Managers for sexual health with particular responsibility for the Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire sexual health service along with our HIV services.

Our aims of implementing online feedback via Care Opinion was to:

  • Provide us with valuable positive and constructive feedback on our services.
  • Give patients the opportunity to provide more detailed feedback on their experiences, beyond just filling in a questionnaire/survey.
  • Allow staff to have more opportunities for direct feedback on the quality of the services that they provide.

Initially we implemented Care Opinion by explaining what and who Care Opinion was to our patients when they attended an appointment and started displaying Care Opinion promotional material in and around the clinic. The direct ask cards were given to patients by the  clinician's and reception team who explained to patients how they could feedback on the service they had received. We then moved on to having Care Opinion set up on the ‘kiosk’ option and text a random selection of patients each day inviting them to provide feedback by clicking on an Invitation link in the text message. 

This is what it looks like:

‘We care about your opinion! We would really appreciate your anonymous feedback regarding your visit at Cobridge SHS, staff will receive this and you will get a response if requested.
Please click the link below.....

(Individual invitation links were created to allow each of the different sexual health services to receive feedback directly about their service).

Since the launch of using Care Opinion at the beginning of April 2021 we have received over 320 stories on the site just for the Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire sexual health service which has blown us away!

Staff have been really positive about the feedback received.  Many patients do thank staff personally so we have been able to share this with clinicians and reception staff for them to use in appraisals and as part of any clinical revalidation.

Each week, in our team meeting, I share a handful of the positive comments from patients with the team via the chat function in Microsoft Teams and this is a great way to start our meeting off!

Our Data Analyst has set up monthly reports on Care Opinion collating the feedback which we share in our internal meetings and also in quarterly meetings with our commissioners.  Commissioners have been really appreciative of the detail we can provide them with.  We also use the Word/Tag Cloud function to show the positive comments patients are using most, which is displayed in the staff room and shared with the team.

What was good - Tag word cloud

(Click here, to use Tag cloud interactively)

The benefits of using Care Opinion is that it enables our patients to give direct, relevant feedback by sharing their experience.  It enhances the feedback they can give as before Care Opinion, we often relied on surveys with just tick boxes.

What have we learnt?

Patients have provided valuable feedback on issues with our telephone service due to the high demand for our services.  This has supported our strategy to purchase a new, enhanced telephone system and develop new ways of working to improve the patient experience when ringing our services.  This should start from mid-July so it will be really useful to track feedback from patients after then. 

Where patients have raised concerns about the service we have used, I ensure I encourage these patients to contact me directly so that I can investigate their concerns more formally, and address any issues.  This is appreciated by patients, especially as initially their feedback is anonymous, as it shows that we are genuinely interested in their feedback and in using it to improve patient care.

Future plans:

Some of our staff have expressed an interest in being able to ask their patients for direct feedback and this could be useful in the future, particularly for clinical staff as part of their revalidation.

We have a psychosexual service and are in discussions as to how Care Opinion can be adapted to support feedback from this service.

We haven’t received a lot of feedback from our HIV patients, potentially due to the sensitivity surrounding their diagnosis, so again, we are interested in what we can do to adapt Care Opinion to encourage more HIV patients to provide us with feedback.

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