We have a new website go to gov.scot

Technical Note: Improve the quality of healthcare experience

Improve the Quality of Healthcare Experience


This indicator measures the reported experience of people using the NHS, by calculating mean scores for individual survey respondents' answers to selected questions in the national inpatient survey, and weighting them using total hospital inpatient numbers to produce a national score.

The indicator is based on the reported experience from hospital inpatients as a proxy for experience across the NHS. This has been chosen because: (a) the quality of hospital care is very important to people; (b) the indicator involves the transitions to and from hospital, which depend on health and care services in the community; and (c) it includes the feedback of inpatients on experience in A&E which should reflect a much wider population of users and is an indicator of the system.


The source for this indicator is the Inpatient Patient Experience Survey.


The survey asks a range of questions about people's experiences of staying overnight in a Scottish hospital.

The data are collected by approved contractors using centrally determined methodology. The overall number of surveys returned in 2015/16 was 22,062. The sample was stratified by hospital so that site level (and in some areas sub-site) estimates could be calculated. Scotland results are calculated by weighting the strata results by number of patients.

The indicator is calculated by taking the mean scores for individual patients' answers to the following questions in the inpatient survey and weighting them using total inpatient numbers to get a national score:

  • Overall, how would you rate your admission to hospital (i.e. the period after you arrived at hospital but before you were taken to the ward)?
  • Overall, how would you rate the care and treatment you received during your time in the Emergency Department / Accident and Emergency?
  • Overall, how would you rate the hospital environment?
  • Overall, how would you rate your care and treatment during your stay in hospital?
  • Overall, how would you rate all the staff who you came into contact with?
  • Overall, how would you rate the arrangements made for you leaving hospital?

The score for each question for each patient is:

  • 0 for very poor
  • 25 for poor
  • 50 for fair
  • 75 for good
  • 100 for excellent.

The methodology results in an indicator between 0 and 100, with 100 representing the best possible score. It should be noted that this does not represent a percentage.

Results are published every two years.


Inpatient - person who has spent at least one night in hospital


The baseline for this indicator is the 2009/10 results, which is the first time the survey has taken place. The national score for 2009/10 was 78.3.

Mean scores for individual patients' answers to healthcare experience related questions:


Score out of 100











This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 0.5 points of the previous year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 0.5 points or more suggests that the position is improving, whereas a decrease of 0.5 points or more suggests that the position is worsening.

The thresholds currently applied for this indicator are based on the figures available at this time and may have to be revised in the future as more data points are published. It is expected that these will give a clearer picture of variability in the data. The measure is calculated by taking the mean score from individual patient responses to six different questions with five possible answers. It is not yet clear what the variability for each component is and how this might affect the combined figure. This new information will then form the basis of a revised arrow methodology.

For information on general methodoligical approach, please click here.


The questions in the inpatient patient experience survey are subject to review, however there will be no changes to the questions included in the indicator.


No associated target.