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Health Experiences Research Group leads collaborative project on how to make better use of patient experience data.

This important study will help us improve the way we listen to patients, carers and staff and act on what they tell us.
- Neil Churchill, Director of Patient Experience,  NHS England.

University of Oxford and Picker Institute Europe are delighted to announce that they have been awarded £786,880 by the National Institute for Health Research to investigate how NHS frontline teams use different types of patient experience data for improvement.

The project, funded as part of the Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme, aims to build an understanding of which types of data or quality improvement approaches are more or less likely to be useful with frontline teams in making health care more person-centred.

The research will focus specifically on six frontline general medical ward teams, using a formative and exploratory case study approach. A learning community for the six ward teams will provide an opportunity to explore approaches to learning from and improving patient experience helping the teams to develop and implement their own interventions and measures.

The project’s Chief Investigator; Louise Locock, Director of Applied Research, Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences said: “Improving patient experience is currently a high priority for the NHS but change has been slow. There is an awareness of the importance of patient experience and we need to learn lessons about what works in which contexts and share learning across the NHS”.

Neil Churchill, Director of Patient Experience at NHS England and a co-applicant on the research said: “The NHS is a world-leader in prompting patients, families and staff to give feedback about their experiences of care but we are not yet using that feedback consistently or to full effect in making improvements to services. This important study will help us improve the way we listen to patients, carers and staff and act on what they tell us”.

The research will run for 27 months and in early 2018 a practical toolkit for the NHS on strategies for making patient experience data more convincing, credible and useful for frontline teams and Trusts will be released.

How can you be involved in this exciting opportunity?

We will be recruiting six NHS acute trusts to collaborate in this research. Jenny King, Associate Director of Research at the Picker Institute said: “This is a great opportunity for acute trusts to join a learning community and receive expert support in improving patient experience”.

If your trust is interested in being one of the six sites, please contact Jenny at the details listed below in the Notes to Editors section.

The programme presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Health Services and Delivery Research funding scheme (14/156/06). The views expressed in this press release are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.


notes to editors:

1. To get involved with, or learn more about this project contact:
2. Louise Locock (Director of Applied Research, Health Experiences Research Group, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
Tel: +44 1865 289303 / Email:
3. Jenny King (Associate Director: Research, Picker Institute Europe)
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 208130 / Email:
4. The Picker Institute are a leading international charity, dedicated to continuous health and social care quality improvement. More specifically they work to effectively understand and use people’s experiences as a tool to support care quality and patient experience improvement.
5. For all Picker Institute Europe media enquiries, speaker opportunities, and recent news please contact: Lanisha Butterfield on or 01865 208166.
6. For further information about Picker Institute Europe visit
7. Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division is one of the largest biomedical research centres in Europe, with over 2,500 people involved in research and more than 2,800 students. The University is rated the best in the world for medicine and life sciences, and it is home to the UK’s top-ranked medical school. It has one of the largest clinical trial portfolios in the UK and great expertise in taking discoveries from the lab into the clinic. Partnerships with the local NHS Trusts enable patients to benefit from close links between medical research and healthcare delivery.
8. Within the division, the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences undertakes internationally acclaimed teaching and research that improves the primary care that GP practices deliver, and is ranked top in the UK. The department’s research covers a broad range of primary care issues including cardiovascular and metabolic disease, health behaviours, infectious disease and child health, patient experience, research methods and evidence-based medicine. For media enquiries relating to the department, contact Dan Richards-Doran on or 01865 617870.



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Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not of Oxford University. Readers' comments will be moderated - see our guidelines for further information.