The King's Fund
The King's Fund in the United Kingdom undertakes an annual survey of consumer satisfaction with the services by National Health Services (the equivalent of Local Health Networks in Australia). This is a useful document for rural and remote people to read because there is no comparable independent survey conducted of Australian hospital services. In Australia, reliance is placed on the Patient Experience Questionnaire which asks people who have been in hospital about their experience. This survey generally paints a positive picture of hospital services. But this is the views of people who are admitted to hospital for an acute condition (stroke, heart attack, painful hip replacement). This doesn't tell us the views of the community generally about quality or accessibility of services provided by hospitals, including people who leave hospital because they have been unable to receive a service in a timely way; who leave because of discrimination or bullying; patients who die or suffer serious disability; and members of the community who never attended the hospital because of a past experience, the cost or lack of available and affordable transport. Recent public inquiries into health care in rural communities suggests a high degree of dissatisfaction with hospital services, including allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination against patients and whistleblower staff. An independent national survey of community attitudes and perceptions of local hospitals such as the one conducted by the King's Fund may help to reduce entrenched cultural problems in hospitals by exposing community concerns before they escalate into a full public inquiry.
Why is this useful for rural and remote people to read?
Patient satisfaction surveys can give a distorted picture of how well the services provided in your town are meeting the needs of your community. Community satisfaction surveys are better as they ask people are how well services are being provided to meet the needs of the community. Rural and remote people should engage with their local health and social care services to advocate for this broader type of survey to get a real picture of the experiences of community members. If providers don't want to do this, the community can build its own survey using a free online tool like SurveyMonkey (https://www.surveymonkey.com) and use this document to help decide the questions you will ask. The survey can be promoted on social media like Facebook to encourage community members to have their say. You don't need to wait for providers to ask you your opinions - you can survey your own community and then let providers know how well they are doing in meeting your needs!
RURAL DATA & STATISTICS
Suggested Citation (go to Get Document if not provided)