National Inpatient Survey
Webinar 2014
August 21st 2014
Agenda and timings
o Survey development [10 min]
o Data protection and section 251 requirements
[10 min]
o Practicalities of Administration [15 min]
o Potential Errors [5min]
o Provisional Timetable [5min]
o Questions and Answers [10 min]
Survey development: Questionnaire
changes since 2013
Two questions carried in the 2013 inpatient questionnaire have
been removed for the 2014 survey:
o Did you receive copies of letters sent between hospital
doctors and your family doctor (GP)?
o Were the letters written in a way that you could understand?
Two new questions added covering relational aspects of care:
o 33. Did you have confidence in the decisions made about
your condition or treatment?
o 67. During your time in hospital did you feel well looked after
by hospital staff?
Question bank: there will be no question bank for the
2014 survey.
Survey Development: Cognitive testing
Ten interviews were completed in Oxford with individuals who
had been an inpatient in an NHS hospital in the last 6 months.
The testing considered the cognitive process of responding in
terms of the model described by Tourangeau (1984) seeking to
establish consistency in:
What’s new?
CQC Flyer
New this year to the Inpatient survey is the CQC flyer to include in mailings, for contractors these will be
sent to you directly and for in house trusts they will go to the trust. The CQC flyer explains who CQC are
and how the survey data will be used by them.
Sample declaration form
The sample declaration form is a new addition for the 2014 Inpatient survey.
These documents are to be sent to your approved contractor before you are able to submit your sample.
Once your approved contractor has checked your sample, both the sample declaration form and the
anonymised sample file will be submitted to the Co-ordination Centre by your approved contractor.
Samples files will not be accepted without the signed sample declaration form. The Co-ordination Centre
will use these documents to help check your sample file.
Free text comments
A change to this year’s survey is that free text comments do not need to be anonymised, as a statement
has been added to the questionnaire stating that any information provided in the free text box will be
shared. This will enable results to be looked at in full by trusts, the CQC and researchers.
Adherence to guidance
Please note that Section 251 approval which has been sought for this project
to provide a legal basis for trusts using a contractor to provide names and
addresses to them. Although in-house trusts are not undertaking this, we
expect them to follow the standard practices and procedures in the interest
of protecting patient confidentiality and maintaining high standards.
It is not permitted to offer financial inducements or lottery prizes to
Similarly, we do not recommend translation of questionnaires into other
languages within the national survey. The terms of the ethical approval do
not permit these types of alteration. Furthermore, such alterations might
mean that the comparability of the survey would be compromised, and such
results may not be acceptable for computation of the relevant measures
within the Care Quality Commission assessments for that trust.
If trusts want to make any adjustments to the method or materials set out in
this guidance, they will need to seek local research ethics approval, and
check with the Co-ordination Centre that the proposed alteration would not
compromise comparability.
Approval under section 251 of the
NHS Act 2006
o Approval for the NHS Adult Inpatient Survey 2014 was sought this
year under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006.
o This approval allows the common law duty of confidentiality to be
put aside in order to enable the processing of patient identifiable
information without consent. The survey methodology was
reviewed by the Health Research Authority (HRA), and
the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) of the Health Research
Authority (previously NIGB) has granted a recommendation of
o Please note that any deviation from the methodology outlined
in the guidance manual may render the approval invalid and
would lead to action being taken against an NHS trust.
Data protection and Section 251
o Separate mailing and sample files from
trusts to contractors.
o Sample declaration form and process.
o Dissent posters.
o Recording dissent and removing patients.
Data protection and Section 251
requirements: separate mailing and
sample files
o This is a non-negotiable requirement of the
survey’s Section 251 approval.
o It must be followed by every trust to contractors.
o Failure to comply will result in this being counted
as a breach.
o CQC and CAG will be notified of any breaches:
follow up action taken as necessary
Data protection and Section 251
requirements: separate mailing and
sample files
o Mailing file contains:
Unique identifier (patient record number)
First name
Address fields
Full postcode
Data protection and Section 251
requirements: separate mailing and
sample files
o Sample file contains:
Unique identifier (patient record number)
Year of birth
Ethnic group
Date of admission
Date of discharge
Length of stay
Route of admission
Main specialty (of consultant) code on discharge
NHS site code of admission
NHS site code of discharge
o Sent to contractors with AES-256 Encryption
Data protection and Section 251
requirements: sample declaration form &
o Similar to the declaration introduced for the
national A&E Survey 2014.
o Must be completed by the NHS trust: signed by the
person preparing the sample file AND by the
Caldicott Guardian.
o Must be emailed to your survey contractor or Coordination Centre if in house BEFORE the sample
file is sent.
o The survey contractor or Co-ordination Centre
must confirm receipt of the form and give
permission for the sample file to be sent.
Administration of the survey
o Approved contractors and conducting
surveys in-house.
o Survey guidance.
o Fieldwork time keeping.
o Updating the Co-ordination Centre.
o DBS checks.
o Freetext comments.
Survey publicity
o It is important that the national surveys are
publicised and responses encouraged so
that as many patients’ voices are heard as
o Updated templates provided in the
o Use of publicity in addition to posters such
Twitter and social media, local media and
newspapers – increasing visibility of the
Potential errors
o Questionnaire format and re-typing
o Sampling: Inclusion of ineligible patients
(based on route of admission information) e.g:
Incorrectly excluded by specialty code.
Sampled by consecutive admission.
Screened single night stays.
Incorrectly excluded by age.
Inclusion of private patients.
Inclusion of patients both admitted and discharged
from a community hospital.
Provisional timetable
o Patient samples to be drawn and submitted for DBS checks –
8th September – 26th September 2014.
o Questionnaire mail out begins – 15th September 2014.
o Fieldwork – 15th September 2014 – 16th January 2015.
o Final data due to Co-ordination centre – 23rd January 2015.
o Weekly monitoring starts – 9th October 2014.
o Reporting (April)
Thanks for joining us
o A copy of the slides and the recording will
be uploaded on NHS surveys.
Contact details:
Telephone number: 01865 208127

National Inpatient Survey Webinar 2014