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How often do patients notice preventable problems in primary care? (Electronic Questionnaire)

Dr Jill Stocks, Research Fellow from the Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, which is based at The University of Manchester’s Institute of  Population Health, describes her experiences accessing the Research for the Future campaign. (Primary care includes all non-hospital healthcare such as GP surgeries, community services, walk-in clinics and pharmacies.)

“Usually patient safety in primary care is evaluated from a medically qualified person’s point of view. Little attention has been given to patients’ experiences and opinions. However previous research has shown that patients are usually accurate in identifying safety incidents.

“We wanted to design a survey to ask patients about preventable safety-related problems in primary care. We aimed to find out how often preventable problems happened, what types of problems these were and how they could be prevented.

“One researcher and three members of the public designed a survey and tested it on their friends and family. The next stage was to test the survey among the public. We distributed the survey among several public patient involvement groups but only received about a hundred replies.

“We really needed some more people to complete the survey. Luckily Research for the Future volunteers came to our rescue and almost 600 more people completed our survey within a week of being invited to. This has given us incredibly useful information about whether our questions would give us the information we needed.

“A very big thank you! It is really good to hear directly from so many people. I can’t believe how wonderful Research for the Future volunteers are! For a researcher this is an amazing way to get good public and patient input.”