Adult inpatient survey 2022

Published: 12 September 2023 Page last updated: 21 September 2023

This survey looks at the experiences of people who stayed at least one night in hospital as an inpatient.

People were eligible to take part in the survey if they stayed in hospital for at least one night during November 2022 and were aged 16 years or over at the time of their stay.

What we found

Results show that people’s experiences of inpatient care have deteriorated since 2020. The results for the 2022 survey remain generally consistent with 2021 following significant declines for almost all questions in the 2021 survey compared with 2020.

Most respondents reported a positive experience in their interactions with doctors and nurses, such as being included in conversations and having confidence and trust, generally remaining consistent with the previous year, although those receiving clear answers to questions has decreased slightly.

For questions relating to meeting patients’ individual needs, such as getting help to clean themselves, help to eat their meals, enough to drink and their pain being controlled, results are generally unchanged, remaining consistent compared with 2021 while still down from 2020.

Hospital waiting times remain a challenging part of people’s experiences of care. While elective patients are generally positive about their experience of how long they had to wait before being admitted to hospital, more people felt that had to wait too long. Although half of elective patients reported no change to their health while waiting for admission, around four in 10 felt their health worsened.

Positive findings

Interactions with staff

  • Most people (72% for doctors and 73% for nurses) said they ‘always’ got answers to their questions they could understand, although this has decreased for both doctors (73% in 2021) and nurses (74% in 2021)
  • 81% and 79% of respondents said they ‘always’ had confidence and trust in doctors and nurses respectively, remaining unchanged from 2021
  • 82% of respondents felt they were treated with dignity and respect; consistent compared with 2021

Meeting individual needs

  • 70% of respondents reported ‘always’ getting help to wash or keep themselves clean
  • 75% of respondents said they were ‘always’ offered food that met any dietary needs or requirements they had, which is a small but significant increase from 74% in 2021
  • 91% said they got enough to drink during their time in hospital, which is consistent with 2021

Involvement in care

  • When asked about being included in conversations, 74% said doctors ‘always’ included them and 75% said this for nurses, compared with 73% and 75% respectively in 2021

Key areas for improvement

Waiting times and staffing levels

  • 22% of elective patients said they would like to have been admitted ‘a bit sooner’ and 17% ‘a lot sooner’ (compared with 20% and 16% respectively in 2021), while 61% said they ‘did not mind waiting as long as they did’, compared with 65% in 2021
  • 41% of elective patients said their health deteriorated while waiting to be admitted to hospital, though 51% said their health remained the same
  • 18% of respondents felt they had to wait ‘far too long’ to get to a bed on a ward after admission, which has increased significantly compared to 2021 (15%) and 2020 (8%), representing a 10-percentage point increase over 2 years
  • 52% of respondents thought there were ‘always’ enough nurses on duty to care for them in hospital, compared to 55% in 2021 and 62% in 2020

Patient discharge from hospital

  • 38% of respondents said they were involved ‘a great deal’ in decisions about their discharge (unchanged from 2021), while 25% said they had little to no involvement (17% said they were ‘not very much’ involved and 8% said they were ‘not at all’ involved)
  • 48% of respondents said they were given enough notice about when they were going to leave hospital, compared to 50% in 2021
  • 45% of respondents ‘definitely’ knew what would happen next with their care after leaving hospital, remaining consistent with 2021

Overall experience

  • 50% of respondents rated their overall experience of inpatient care as a 9 or 10 (where 10 is a very good experience) compared with 52% in 2021. 4% of respondents reported a very poor experience overall with scores of 0 or 1, which remains unchanged since 2021

How experience varies for different groups of people

People admitted for emergency care and those who were considered frail reported poorer than average experiences for all the questions we explored in the survey.

People aged 16 to 50, those who stayed in hospital for two nights or more, and those who reported having Dementia or Alzheimer’s consistently reported poorer experiences of inpatient care.

Respondents with a neurological condition reported poorer experiences for more than half of the questions.

In contrast, older people, people who were in hospital for an elective admission, those who stayed in hospital for only one night, and those considered less frail generally reported better experiences.

Results for NHS trusts

A-Z list of inpatient survey results by NHS trust

Each trust has been provided with a benchmark report, which provides: detail of the survey methodology, headline results, the trust score for each evaluative question, banding for how a trust score compares with all other trusts. The reports also provide results at hospital site where data is available.

View these reports on the NHS surveys website.


Open data

Supporting information

How will results be used?

We will use the results from the survey to build an understanding of the risk and quality of services and those who organise care across an area. Where survey findings provide evidence of a change to the level of risk or quality in a service, provider or system, we use the results alongside other sources of people’s experience data to inform targeted assessment activities.

Other organisations

NHS trusts

Trusts, and those who commission services, use the results to identify and make the changes they need to improve the experience of people who use their services.

NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care

Information collected nationally in a consistent way is essential to support public and Parliamentary accountability. The results are used by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care for performance assessment, improvement and regulatory purposes.

National Patient Experience Surveys

Find out more about our other surveys and download our statistics policies.