Little voice: giving young patients a say

Nurs Times. 2011;107(49-50):18-20.


Background: Patient experience is widely measured in healthcare settings, but few tools exist that gather feedback directly from young patients.

Aim: To develop a paediatric questionnaire to gain meaningful feedback from young hospital outpatients.

Method: Two paper questionnaires were designed and tested--one for parents and one for young people. These were piloted in 2009 with 1,200 recent outpatients and their parents/carers from Sheffield Children's Foundation Trust. Rollout to 14 acute NHS trusts in England achieved an average response rate of 33%.

Results: The main problems for young outpatients related to waiting, pre-appointment information and communication. Questionnaire validation showed that both surveys were accessible and a reliable measure of patient experience.

Conclusions: It is important to give children and young people a say in their healthcare via tested methods that are appropriate to their needs and abilities. Results can help hospital outpatient departments to identify the main issues and problems experienced by their young patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Health Services*
  • England
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Parents
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*