The first ever National Patient Survey in Ireland was launched on 5 April 2017 by Minister for Health, Simon Harris, TD.

The survey, which is the first of its kind in this jurisdiction, will allow patients an opportunity to describe their experiences, in order for this information to be used to improve the health service. A joint initiative by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health, the National Patient Experience Survey Programme will use data collected from the survey to shape future healthcare policy and improve outcomes for patients.

The survey is geared towards all adult patients who have spent 24 hours or more in a public acute hospital during May 2017. An estimated 27,000 patients will be eligible to take part, making this the largest single survey of the healthcare system in to date.

Patients will be asked to provide feedback on the following key areas:

  1. trust in hospital staff;
  2. care and treatment;
  3. explanation of medications/ side-effects before discharge from hospital.

The initiative seeks to drive accountability; identify where excellent and poorer service has been provided and, ultimately, to allow service providers to benchmark the care provided both nationally and internationally. From a regulation perspective, the process endeavours to identify potential risks and challenges in care which need to be highlighted and addressed.

The survey will be distributed by post and online and goes live on May 1 2017.

Further information about the survey can be accessed here.