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Most children and young people report good experiences of hospital care

28 November 2017
  • Public

The results of the 2016 children and young people’s survey published today show that the majority of children and young people who stayed in hospital overnight or were seen as a day case patient were happy with the care they received.

The survey results reveal what over 34,000 children and young people under the age of 16 and their parents and carers said about the hospital care they received during November and December 2016.

Nationally, the results from the 132 acute NHS trusts which took part in the survey show:

  • Overall 91% of children and young people aged 8-15 said they had been looked after ‘very well’ or ‘quite well’ while in hospital and 87% felt that the staff looking after them were ‘always’ friendly.
  • Eighty-six per cent of children and young people aged 8-15 said staff had talked to them about how they would be cared for and 92% said that staff answered their questions.
  • For those who had an operation or procedure while in hospital, 93% said they received an explanation beforehand about what would happen and of those that experienced pain, 80% felt staff did everything they could to help.
  • Eighty-one per cent of parents and carers rated their child’s overall experience as eight or above out of ten and 91% said that staff agreed a plan for their child’s care with them.
  • Among parents and carers of children aged seven and under, 83% felt their child had ‘always’ been well looked after by hospital staff and 85% felt that, as parents and carers, they were ‘always’ treated with respect and dignity.

While the majority of responses reflected a positive experience, the survey also identified some areas where NHS trusts could improve.

  • Over a third of children aged 8-11 (36%) said that they did not always understand what staff said when they spoke to them.
  • Twenty per cent of children aged 8-11 said they did not feel involved at all in making decisions about their care or treatment.
  • More than a quarter of parents and carers (28%) felt that staff did not ‘definitely’ know how to care for their child’s individual or special needs.

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission said:

“Overall, the NHS should be pleased with the results of the 2016 survey which show the majority of children and young people were happy with their care. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of hospital staff working with children and young people across the country. It also reflects the findings from our inspections, which show the quality of children and young people’s services is often rated higher than any other core service within a hospital.

“However, the survey does show some areas where children, young people and their parents and carers reported room for improvement. Hospitals should examine the results of this survey, together with our inspection reports and take steps to improve their care where necessary.”

This is the second children and young people’s survey to be carried out as part of the NHS patient survey programme. We will use the findings as part of our monitoring of the quality of children and young people’s services and to plan and target our inspections.


Last updated:
28 November 2017