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What is the NHS Patient Feedback Challenge?

Our work after the closure of the NHS Institute

With the closure of the NHS Institute at the end of March the NHS Patient Feedback Challenge programme comes to an end for our nine projects. We can report that since their journey began in August, spread has taken place across 43 new organisations and 75 wards, services and divisions across the NHS.

The Patient Feedback website [] will continue for the next 12 months and the nine projects will be using this website to continue to communicate their work as they are all planning to continue to spread and adopt their approaches.

We encourage you to continue to follow the project communities. If you have not yet joined a community you can do so by clicking on the project icon on that website.

As a web channel member you can now access all the project case studies and films, along with the full independent evaluation report by OPM and materials from our events over the last year. To access these materials use the Presentations, Posters and Project Case Studies tab on the website.

Thank you for your continued interest in this programme and we hope that you continue to engage with the projects through the online communities.

The NHS Patient Feedback Challenge has been designed to support the spread of great approaches which use feedback from patients to improve services.  It has been created and managed by the NHS Institute and funded by the Department of Health.

The projects were selected following their bid for a share of the £1 million Challenge fund, which was set aside to support the most promising approaches to measuring and improving patient experience.  All projects which are led by an NHS organisation have built specialised project teams to share and spread their successes, these teams include specialist collaborators from the commercial and third sector along with spread partner organisations from within the NHS.

Since their journey began in August, spread has taken place across forty three new organisations and 75 wards, services or divisions across the NHS.

You can download the programme brochure here Programme Brochure.pdf Programme Brochure.pdf 

The programme has been fully evaluated by OPM, click on the documents below to download the full evaluation and cost consequence model:

Patient Feedback Challenge Full Evaluation Report Patient Feedback Challenge Full Evaluation Report 

Patient Feedback Challenge Cost Consequence Report Patient Feedback Challenge Cost Consequence Report 

Please click on the links below to download the case study for each project:

Ashford and St Peters Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Ashford and St Peters Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust 

East Cheshire NHS Trust East Cheshire NHS Trust 

NHS North East London and the City NHS North East London and the City 

Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust 

Peninsula Community Health CiC Peninsula Community Health CiC 

South Tees Hospitals NHS FT South Tees Hospitals NHS FT 

Yeovil District Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Yeovil District Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

You can download spread map of the projects spread map of the projects

To find out more about individual projects, follow the link to the web channel 

Films available on our social networking website

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Here are a collection of films from all nine projects where you can hear more about the work and the experiences of those involved.

NHS Patient Feedback Challenge projects

Read more about NHS Patient Feedback Challenge Projects, below, which includes information about their methods, approaches, spread partners and specialist collaborators.

NHS Patient Feedback Challenge projects

valuing frontline feedback

Project title: Valuing frontline feedback

Project by: Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS FT

This project will create a culture where patient feedback is actively sought by empowered staff, who are motivated to engage with patients and feedback data in order to improve patient experience. It involves providing staff with the opportunity to listen to the experience of patients, relatives or carers first hand, to really step into the patient’s shoes.  

Methods and approaches: staff workshops and train the trainer; patient stories; staff award scheme; kiosks capturing feedback.

Spread partners: Dorset HealthCare; Surrey Community Health; Central Surrey Health.

Specialist collaborators: April Strategy; Patient Experience Network; WOW Awards

Case study Case study

Kinda Magic

Project title: Kinda Magic

Project by: Peninsula Community Healthcare CIC

Peninsula Community Health CIC project will provide a model to spread the current innovative practice of collecting patient feedback to other organisations in different care settings, and using it to systematically improve care. They also aim to spread the process to those who are often excluded from feedback processes; those with a cognitive impairment or dementia.  This involves developing a new data collection tool based on the original principles.

Methods and approaches: monthly patient experience metrics; collection of quantitative and qualitative data; instant verbal feedback, and reports within a month. Developing data collection tool for those with a cognitive impairment or dementia.

Spread partners: NHS Cornwall & Isles of Scilly; Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust; Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Cornwall Council Adult Care and Support; Cornwall Health and Making Partnerships; Alzheimer’s Society; Age UK; Connect – the communication disability network; NHS Devon; Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust; Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust.

Specialist collaborators: Impact Innovation; Akumen Limited; Arc Research; Journalista.

Case Study Case Study

iCare if you are smiling

Project title: iCARE if you are smiling

Project by: Yeovil District Hospital NHS Trust

Yeovil District Hospital Foundation developed their ‘iCARE’ philosophy in response to complaints from patients. It was evident that there were four common themes to which complaints/feedback centred around; communication, attitude, respect and environment.   ‘iCARE’ was developed to encapsulate these areas into a set of values, with the ‘i’ relating to individualised care. iCARE has proven to be extremely successful over the past four years by reducing complaints around communication alone by 50%.  The Trust aim to spread their approach to a number of other Trusts locally with cross-boundary sharing of feedback and will also use the funding to build a comprehensive training package to spread this concept nationwide

Methods and approaches: drop in clinics; ipads real time feedback; smiley stickers on ward progress charts; business cards with iCARE philosophy.

Spread partners: Internal spread within Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Dorset County Hospital; Lister Hospitals East and North Herts NHS Trust.
Case Study Case Study

Patient Partners

Project title: Patient Partners

Project by: Bridgewater Community Health NHS Trust

Patient Partners’ is a project which allows patients with communication and/or wider cognitive disabilities (as specially recruited Patient Associates) to be actively involved in improving services within Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
Patient partners themselves will be accessing the personal therapeutic benefits of this activity/responsibility.  Bridgewater services will be very actively benefiting (e.g. patient involvement in training and recruitment, Trust will have evidence of the quality of its services) and making improvements as a result of active engagement and involvement with patients.

Methods and approaches: patient associates aligned to each division; training patients as partners; focus groups; patient involvement.

Spread partners: Divisions across Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust including: Halton and St Helens; Trafford; Warrington; Ashton, Wigan and Leigh, Dental Community Services.
Case Study Case Study

Patient and family echo

Project title: Patient and Family Echo 

Project by: East Cheshire NHS Trust

Patient and Family Echo is a new best practice approach to patient experience improvement.   It engages and empowers staff to ‘echo’ the voice, experience and needs of patients and families into their organisation – to drive service improvement without taking staff away from the delivery of frontline health and social care services.  Via an online platform, this project condenses patient feedback from existing sources into manageable challenges so that staff can quickly engage with key issues being experienced by the public.  It allows staff to start to improve patient experience fast, by creating the momentum to deliver early service improvements. Staff are empowered by voting on what challenges should be tackled, and proposing solutions to meet those challenges.  

Methods and approaches: Identify patient experience challenge; communications campaign with staff; capture staff insights via online website; creation of service improvement plans; support staff to implement improvement.

Spread partners: North West Ambulance Service; Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust; Bridgewater Community Care Trust; East Midlands Ambulance Service; West Midlands Ambulance Service; Cheshire East Council.
Case Study Case Study

 Real time patient stories

Project title: Real Time Patient Stories 

Project by: South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


This project will spread the use of videos of patient stories to enhance patient feedback. The Trust already use a breadth of numerical data to provide important objective information. Patient stories add the human dimension and this is a powerful engine for improvement.  Films can be more widely-seen and are more cost-effective than face-to-face storytelling has been. They will become part of core routine reflective care practice.

Methods and approaches: staff record patient stories on easy to use equipment and then share these with their teams/staff; training staff to use stories for improvement at team/ward level.

Spread partners: South Tees hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; University Hospitals of South Manchester; South Manchester CCG and NHS Manchester.

 Case Study Case Study

 Creating and organisation that values listens and responds

Project title: Creating and Organisation that Values, Listens and Responds 

Project by: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust


The aim of this project is to build on successful partnerships with service users, carers, staff and Patient Opinion to:

  • Ensure more of the Trust’s team are passionate about listening and responding to stories and feedback and this drives the culture, learning and improvement in each team.
  • Ensure that listening and responding to stories and feedback shapes the development of future leaders in the region and future clinicians in Higher Education Institutes.

Methods and approaches: skilling teams/staff in listening and responding to feedback; internal service by service spread; Patient Opinion real time feedback; impact Workshops with Patient Opinion to inspire teams to listen and respond to feedback; real time feedback and response via web site; virtual clinical placements.

Spread partners: East Midlands Leadership Academy; Patient Opinion; Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Services.

Specialist collaborators: Patient Opinion.

Case Study Case Study 

 Improving healthcare together

Project title: Improving Healthcare Together 

Project by: Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


This project aims to spread a co-designed survey process from inpatients, to A&E, outpatients and the Day Procedures Unit. They also plan to spread the approach to Norfolk Community Healthcare Trust. This will enable the participating services to continuously drive improvements to services and patient experience. Whilst the initial good practice was based on a face to face survey administered by volunteers, the scale of the spread means that they are developing scan-able postcards and mobile apps to gather feedback in the spread areas.

Methods and approaches: independent feedback system; co design surveys with each clinical area; volunteers; 1 to 1 interviews; ward level reports.

Spread partners: A & E, Outpatient Clinics and Day Procedures Clinic - internal to NNUH; Norfolk Community Health Care NHS Trust


Both sides now

Project title: Both Sides Now 

Project by: NHS North East London and the City

 Case Study Case Study

Both Sides NOW uses evidence-based Patient Voices digital storytelling techniques to find the stories behind the data and the data behind the stories, building common cause between staff and patient groups from Board to Ward to drive improvement across a range of key metrics such as Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) and the number and complexity of complaints. The project enables patients to produce reflective digital stories that identify the areas for service improvement that have a direct impact on the service user/service provider experience.

Methods and approaches: Using digital storytelling into multiple dimensions. Combining technology with evidence-based organisational development techniques. Fully integrated, patient experience measurement system including a return on investment dashboard.

Spread partners: The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust; Manchester Mental health and Social Care Trust; Barts Health NHS Hospital Trust.
Specialist collaborators: Pilgrim Projects Limited/ Patient Voices; Your Tower Hamlets.

Case Study Case Study 

Why now?

Patients tell us that they care about their experience of care as much as clinical effectiveness and safety.

No NHS organisation can remain static in its assumptions about having the experience right for its patients every time.

To improve experience we need to gather patient feedback, make improvements based on that feedback, measure the improvements and share them as widely as possible.

Services need to work together and importantly, work with patients and families to transform patient experiences. This process involves investment in large scale culture change and a visible difference in the way services are delivered.

The NHS Patient Feedback Challenge is designed to provide a financial reward for those who develop a culture which rapidly identifies areas for improvement in experience and implements the best ideas.

We will support development of partnerships between NHS organisations, social care, local government, commercial, voluntary and third sector organisations to create innovative approaches to spread and implement proven approaches to improving patient experience.

NHS Feedback Challenge - Discovery Programme

Alongside the nine feedback challenge projects some important work has been taking place nationally and across each of the Strategic Health Authority regions to support the development of patient experience capacity and capability.

Here are the latest developments and support materials for you to download, share and get involved in.

National Discovery Work:

The SHA's, Department of Health, NHS Institute and Ipsos MORI have been working to establish a national picture of patient feedback collection and the service improvements that are achieved as a result.

In addition, we have been exploring ways to support organisations to plan their patient experience programme.

As a result of this work we are now pleased to publish the following:

The National Survey of Patient Experience Practice in the NHS

This survey was carried out in the summer, all Trusts in England were invited to take part. It looks at current practice around collecting and using patient experience data.

Download the Survey Report here National Survey Summary Report National Survey Summary Report

Link to the Ipsos MORI blog here

The first prototype of the Patient Experience Self Assessment Tool

This can be used as part of your patient experience planning.

If you would like to be involved in the development of this tool as an on-line application please contact us at

Patient Experience Self Assessment Tool.pdf Patient Experience Self Assessment Tool.pdf 

Local discovery work

The Strategic Health Authority Clusters have been planning their patient experience work and collecting information on how their local NHS organisations are doing. This information and the best practice identified has been shared at a number of learning events across the country. In particular:

SHA South

SHA South are running pilots to ensure that there is a patch based understanding of the achievements and challenges facing the local NHS in improving the experience of patients and carers across all organisations in the local health community. This work is aligned with the legacy documents on quality and safety that all PCTs and SHAs are required to provide to support the transition to the new commissioning system that starts in April 2013.

NHS London

NHS London has developed an understanding of the patient experience programmes underway and has identified local best practice in this field.

SHA Midlands and East

SHA Midlands and East has been pioneering in their work to drive up patient experience within the NHS across the region. The Patient Revolution works to put patients at the forefront of their care and offers opportunity to shape the future of NHS services, both within the hospital and the community. Dedicated members of staff are improving the customer services that patients receive by utilising data obtained from patient feedback through such routes as the Friends and Family Test and Patient Stories. An influential brochure has been produced which includes a series of case studies from trusts, PCT Clusters and CCGs, detailing the outstanding work that is being done across the cluster and can be found by dowloading The Patient Revolution:11 journeys from across the Midlands and East. Other inspiring work within the Patient Revolution includes strategies to empower patients to be in control of their own care, such as shared decision making and the use of technology to personalise care. For further information on the Patient Revolution and the Customer Services strategy please visit The Strategic Projects Team site.

SHA North

SHA North held strategic learning events to support and develop the strategic patient experience and commissioning programme across the North of England. In addition, they have commissioned a research programme which will provide a benchmark of patient experience data. The first quarter results are just in and have provided a great deal of detailed patient feedback to the pilot trusts across the North of England. In addition, additional funding has been secured to complete this project over the next three quarters to give a full year’s worth of data.

The selection process

Initial engagement

An invitation to NHS organisations to put forward examples of using patient feedback to improve experience, on a dedicated web channel.

These may include: evidence of using patient feedback, or measuring patient experience for service improvement, with ideas about spread and adoption; measuring and improving patient experience across a pathway of care.

Involvement, connections and building partnerships

Facilitated opportunities for organisations to interact and exchange ideas around spread and adoption and implementation, on the dedicated web channel. This may involve: NHS; Social care; Voluntary sector and Commercial sector organisations. Ideas for spread will be rated on the web channel, as well as partnerships developed with potential spread partners or expert collaborators, who are interested in the projects.

All programmes must be lead by NHS organisations.

Selection of proposals for two-day ‘hot house’ event

Through the web channel you will be able to take part in discussions about the project spread and adoption ideas submitted and you will be able to vote for the ones you think will programmes. Selection will be based on quality interactions surrounding the project and voting on the site, alongside expert panel advice

Two day ‘hot house’ event

This will be an opportunity for those NHS organisations to meet with potential spread partners, commercial partners and other experts to share ideas and opportunities and to develop partnerships. There will be expertise available regarding potential support for the bidding process and running the projects.

Selection of programmes

A robust selection process will be undertaken by the Expert panel with supporting data taken from the web channel and the hot house event, ensuring there is stretch of challenge and clear measurable aims.

Ongoing programme management and support

Bespoke support for the chosen projects for the duration of the programme, including a development plan for each, based on a realistic assessment of their skills – to be managed by an account manager. Support should include as a minimum a start up day - exploratory discussion to assess organisational readiness, senior leadership sign-up, partnership status, risks, and issues

The Patient Experience Book

As the NHS Institute, we have worked on a number of programmes that aim to support the NHS to improve patient experience, in particular the Patient Experience Learning Programme; Transforming Patient Experience: the essential guide and the NHS Patient Feedback Challenge.  We wanted to pull together our 'institutional memory' and hand it over to everyone who will be working in the new landscape to improve the experiences of people who use health and social care services, their carers and families.  This book is for people with designated responsibility for improving patient experience both as providers and commissioners.

The Patient Experience Book The Patient Experience Book 

Join the NHS Patient Feedback Challenge Community