Our sample comprised of all NHS acute and specialist trusts.
We examined 4000 stories, the most recent 2000 posted on Care Opinion and the most recent 2000 posted on NHS Choices (counting back from September 2012).
This data was gathered on 4/9/12, and covers the 2,000 postings from PO and the 2,000 from NHSC up until that date.
We calculated the percentage of comments which had received a response, as a proportion of the number of comments posted about each NHS trust overall.
We also coded all our comments for criticality, this means we identify comments where a patient has raised a concern or an issue. It is particularly important that trusts respond to this type of comment, so we calculated an individual percentage for each trust for this kind of response.
We compared how responsive NHS trusts are to four measures of quality of patient experience:
- NHS Choices User ratings: would you recommend the hospital? (As published on NHS Choices in September 2012)
- Inpatient complaints(As published on NHS Choices in September 2012)
- NHS Patient survey score for dignity and respect (As published on NHS Choices in September 2012, Data from the Care Quality Commission for October 2011 - January 2012)
- Staff survey score for standard of care (As published on NHS Choices in September 2012, Data from Care Quality Commission for 2010)
This data is all published on the NHS Choices website and was supplied to Care Opinion in September 2012.
We took the scores for each of these indicators and placed each trust into quartiles. Determining trusts in the upper quartile to be performing ‘well,’ and trusts in the lower quartile to be performing ‘poorly.’
We then aggregated these four indicators, awarding 1 point per indicator for every indicator where the trust was in the upper quartile and -1 point per indicator for every indicator where the trust was in the lower quartile. This gave each trust an aggregate score across our four measures.
At best a trust could score +4 – performing amongst the best trusts for all four indicators and at worst a trust could score -4 performing amongst the worst performers for all four indicators. To be considered performing well overall a trust had to score +2 or higher. To be considered preforming poorly overall a trust had to score -2 or lower. The range was -3 to +4.
We grouped each trust as follows:
- Good at responding (no concerns about responding to critical comments). Good at our quality measures
- Good at responding (no concerns about responding to critical comments). Poor at our quality measures
- Poor at responding (not mitigated by responding well to critical comments). Good at our quality measures
- Poor at responding to comments and critical comments. Poor at our quality measures
- Good at responding. Average at our quality measures
- Poor at responding. Average at our quality measures
- Average at responding. Poor at our quality measures
- All other trusts – generally average on both measures
Publication of our data
We recently published this study of how trusts compared in terms of their responsiveness to stories on PO and NHS Choices. In line with Care Opinion's commitment to transparency, and in response to requests from individual trusts, we are making the data on which this study was based public. We have already informed every trust included here of their individual results.
If you wish to use this data, we recommend that you contact us so that we are able to share with you the wider context of this study and our further analysis. We would also be happy to put you in touch with relevant contacts from organisations who rank highly in terms of their responsiveness. To speak to us about this study, please contact Kate Ebbutt by email or on 0114 281 6256.