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NGH supporting national research project to improve patient experience

Northampton General Hospital is one of only six NHS organisation selected to take part in an independent research project that aims to improve patient experience in hospitals.

The collaborative research project will examine how frontline hospital staff use patient experience data to improve care.

The project is led by the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and Picker Institute Europe and funded by the National Institute for Health Research HS&DR Programme (project 14/156/06).

The aim of the project is to build an understanding of which types of data or quality improvement approaches are more or less likely to be useful with frontline teams in making health care more person-centred.

Carolyn Fox, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services, said: "There are lots of ways that acute hospitals collate feedback from patients and their families, from the Family and Friends Test right through to Facebook reviews. We have a lot of data available to us but what the NHS doesn't have at the moment is a consistent and demonstrable method of using that data to make improvements. We're delighted to be at supporting this important research project that will pave the way for a consistent best-practice approach to using patient experience data across the UK."

The research will focus specifically on six frontline general medical ward teams, using a formative and exploratory case study approach. A learning community for the six ward teams will provide an opportunity to explore approaches to learning from and improving patient experience helping the teams to develop and implement their own interventions and measures.

The two-year project will result in the production of a practical toolkit for the NHS on strategies for making patient experience data more convincing, credible and useful for frontline teams and Trusts.


Notes to editors

1. The National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research (NIHR HS&DR) Programme was established to fund a broad range of research. It builds on the strengths and contributions of two NIHR research programmes: the Health Services Research (HSR) programme and the Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) programme, which merged in January 2012. The programme aims to produce rigorous and relevant evidence on the quality, access and organisation of health services, including costs and outcomes. The programme will enhance the strategic focus on research that matters to the NHS. The HS&DR Programme is funded by the NIHR with specific contributions from the CSO in Scotland, NISCHR in Wales and the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

2. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (

3. Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division is one of the largest biomedical research centres in Europe, with over 2,500 people involved in research and more than 2,800 students. The University is rated the best in the world for medicine and life sciences, and it is home to the UK’s top-ranked medical school. It has one of the largest clinical trial portfolios in the UK and great expertise in taking discoveries from the lab into the clinic. Partnerships with the local NHS Trusts enable patients to benefit from close links between medical research and healthcare delivery. Within the division, the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences undertakes internationally acclaimed teaching and research that improves the primary care that GP practices deliver, and is ranked top in the UK. The department’s research covers a broad range of primary care issues including cardiovascular and metabolic disease, health behaviours, infectious disease and child health, patient experience, research methods and evidence-based medicine.

Posted on Tuesday 2nd August 2016
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