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Rural Health System Resources


Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2022: Results from the British Social Attitudes survey


The King's Fund


The King's Fund in the United Kingdom undertakes an annual survey of consumer satisfaction with the services provided by National Health Services (the equivalent of Local Health Networks in Australia).

Why is this useful for rural and remote people?

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. Because people have often been in hospital for an acute or life-threatening condition, surveys rightly paint a positive picture of hospital services. But simply because people who have been able to obtain a hospital service have a positive view does not mean that the hospital is doing a good job for the community. This data doesn't inform policy makers about the views of the community generally, or about the quality or accessibility of services provided by hospitals, including the views of 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 or unaffordable transport.

That is why patient experience surveys should be supplemented by community experience surveys. An annual survey of community attitudes to the National Health Service in the UN is conducted by the King's Fund and provides a different perspective on the performance of hospitals that is valuable in determining whether they are meeting the broader needs of the community. This data can help to reduce entrenched cultural problems in hospitals by exposing community concerns before they escalate into a crisis.

In the absence of a national community experience survey, rural and remote communities can do their own local survey of hospital services to gauge whether the community is satisfied with the accessibility of care, the way they are treated, and their sense of confidence in their ability to access the care they need in a timely way. The community can build its own survey using a free online tool like SurveyMonkey ( 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!

Suggested Citation

The King's Fund (2022) Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2022: Results from the British Social Attitudes survey


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