Children and young people give their views in unique health survey

The first ever survey seeking the views of children and young people on the health services they receive has been published today.

Children and young people aged eight to 15 years have been asked to give their views as part of the survey conducted by the Care Quality Commission.

Children aged nought to seven years are also included in the first National Children’s Inpatient and Day Case Survey 20124 – although their parents only were asked for their views.

The experiences of almost 19,000 children and young people, who stayed in hospital or were seen as day patients, were included in the survey.

They show that 87% of children and young people and 88% of parents or carers rated their overall experience as seven or above out of ten.

Kath Evans, NHS England’s Head of Patient Experience for Children and Young People, said: “We are committed to involving the public of all ages in their own health care and in the delivery of services. This survey has provided the opportunity to hear if we’re delivering on these policies by seeking feedback specifically from children, young people and families.

“This survey shows that most children have good experiences of care, but providers will want to act on less good experiences highlighted by those with complex and mental health needs. All patients including children and young people deserve the very best health care experiences.

“Our challenge now is to take action on that feedback. Our children and young people deserve the very best health care experiences. It’s within our gift to deliver them. What is needed is focus and commitment.”

Nationally, 137 acute NHS trusts took part in the survey which was broken down into three age-appropriate questionnaires, specially developed to give children and young people a voice on health care.

These were divided into nought to seven years – parents’ survey; the eight to 11 years child and parent survey, and the 12 to 15 years young person and parent survey.

There are a number of surveys within the NHS patient survey programme which gather the views of adult patients about the care they have recently received. However, the views of children and young people have not previously been sought.

The surveys are expected to inform local improvement activity. They will be an important source of information for people to help them choose between providers, and for informing commissioners of services.

As well as supplying NHS England and the Department of Health with data to assess performance against national targets on patient experience, the survey programme provides an important source of data for CQC’s assessments.