The Scottish Government are consulting on changes to the National Care Standards.
The Scottish Health and Care Experience is a postal survey which was sent to a random sample of patients who were registered with a GP in Scotland in November 2013. The survey is the successor to the 2011/12 GP and Local NHS Services Survey. Over 100,000 people registered with a GP practice in Scotland responded giving a reliable picture of service users and carers experience of our health and social care services in Scotland.
Like the previous survey, it asked people about their experiences of access and using GP practice and out-of-hours services, and their outcomes from NHS treatments. This year, the survey was widened to include other aspects of care and support provided by local authorities and other organisations to support the principles underpinning the integration of health and care in Scotland proposed under The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill 2014.
- On the whole, the majority of patients and care users report a positive experience of their care. However, an overarching finding across a number of aspects of the survey was that patients were slightly less positive about their experiences than in the previous survey in 2011/12.
- Accessing GP services continues to be an area of concern for respondents. Four of the five most negatively answered GP questions related to issues of access. These include being able to get through on the phone and being able to speak to a doctor or nurse within 2 working days.
- On social care, a notable finding was that many respondents who receive help and support for everyday living receive this outwith formal services. 41% of respondents indicated that the help they received did not come from formal services.
- There was considerable variation between Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) on experiences of care services, especially around coordination of health and care services and on the impact of support on quality of life.
- On carers, around 15 per cent of respondents indicated that they look after or provide regular help or support to others. Of these almost 1 in 3 provided more than 50 hours care a week, a significant time commitment.
- Carers responses to specific questions regarding their experiences were mixed. Carers were most positive about spending time with other people and having a good balance between caring and other activities. On the other hand carers were most negative about the impact of caring on their health (32% indicated that caring had a negative impact). Around 1 in 5 carers felt that they did not having a say in services provided for the cared for person, that services were not well coordinated and that they did not feel supported to continue caring.