Adult inpatient experience during the COVID-19 pandemic

Results from the survey conducted for the Care Quality Commission of adult inpatient experience during the COVID-19 pandemic have been published.

The author(s)

  • Rachel Williams Public Affairs
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The survey was conducted for the Care Quality Commission and was designed to collect information about the experiences of people who had inpatient care in an NHS hospital in March, April and May 2020, as England went into national lockdown and at the peak of the first wave of infection. It included patients with COVID-19 (on admission or diagnosed during stay) and patients in hospital for non-COVID reasons.

The results show that experiences of care remained positive, even during the pandemic. However, patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis reported consistently poorer experiences, with the greatest differences being during discharge and knowing what would happen next with their care after leaving hospital.

Certain groups of patients consistently reported poorer experiences of care. Generally, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s, people with a mental health condition, and people with a neurological condition reported poorer experiences of most aspects of inpatient care. In addition, people who had an emergency admission reported more negative experiences, compared with patients who had a planned admission.

Older patients were generally more positive, but there is evidence that they felt more isolated due to restrictions on visitors, and were more likely to say they were unable to keep in touch with family and friends during their stay.

Technical details

  • Patients were randomly selected from a sample frame provided by NHS Digital, using Hospital Episode Statistics.
  • The survey was conducted using a mixed methods approach, combining online and telephone modes. It achieved a 42% unadjusted response rate in just under four weeks. Fieldwork took place between 14 August and 9 September 2020.
  • A total of 10,336 people took part in the survey. All respondents were aged 16 years or over at the time of their hospital stay and were discharged from hospital between 1 April 2020 and 31 May 2020.
  • Data were weighted to produce results for the overall population of inpatients discharged between 1 April and 31 May 2020, and for the COVID and non-COVID populations individually.

The author(s)

  • Rachel Williams Public Affairs

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