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Public rate NHS England higher than GPs and Hospitals!

April 7, 2014

BLOG Insight dashboard NHSE

The latest data from the NHS England Insights dashboard shows that the public are making more positive comments about NHS England on social media than negative ones this compares far more favourably than comments the public are making about General Practice and Hospital Services.

 

Data for March 2014

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What is the NHS England Insights Dashboard?

The NHSE Insights Dashboard is meant to be a triangulated insight tool that provides a set of measures reflecting feedback to the NHS from patients using services and conversations being had about the NHS. It was due to be launched in April 2013 as an iPAd application – I don’t think this has happened yet. I have no idea how much it costs. However it is part of an ambition that NHS England has to:

“Use online social listening tools to monitor conversations (online comments about the NHS) in detail”

The intention was that from April 2013 NHS England would be able to:

“monitor real time and historically…. a wide range of metrics including volume: force (aggregate influence of conversations); sentiment (whether conversations are positive or negative); demographics (who is having the conversations); and trends (identify trending topics and themes)”

Both of the above quotes come from a paper by Tim Kelsey for the NHS Commissioning Board (now NHSE England Board) produced in February 2013

What does the March Insights Dashboard tell us?

There are a number of possible conclusions here.

  • The first is that NHS England is simply so good that the public holds it in very high regard and this is reflected fairly in the scoring.
  • Second, it could be that as a national agency it may be that NHS England staff and their associates use social media more in the course of their work and are more likely to say positive things about NHS England. Furthermore most members of the public have no idea about NHS England at all so are unlikely to comment or complain about it. The March dashboard includes the period of the NHS Expo.
  • Third, it might be that most of the negative comments about hospitals and GPs could be about the cuts.

Other Insights

If we compare this “insight” data to others we get a different picture. IPSOS MORI in their latest report for the Department of Health note that when people were asked to rate how satisfied they were the last time they visited an NHS hospital or GP their satisfaction ratings were as follows:

  • Inpatient – 85%
  • Outpatient – 84%
  • GP – 83%
  • A&E 80%
  • NHS overall – 66%

Since publishing this blog Steven McDermott at the University of Leeds has sent me a link to a social network analysis he has done of tweets about the NHS – 400,000 tweets by 21,000 over a month. You can see it here.

Comment

Tim Kelsey is clearly keen to drive innovative approaches to insight and voice in NHSE. As he notes in the February report I mention above:

“each month there are approximately 500,000 unique online comments made about the NHS” 

So on the surface it might appear to be a real opportunity to attempt to analyse these. However, so far the insight tool reach seems very limited for example for GPs (using the data above) it only captured comments that equate to about 16 comments per CCG (N = 211).

Tim Kelsey’s Black Box

In addition to the points above the biggest problem is that we cannot see the “workings out” for example:

  • What is the demographic profile of the social media comments being captured – employed/unemployed, old/young, ethnicy, employed/unemployed, professional/non professional
  • What is meant by hospitals – Acute, Community etc?

Of course it could just be that the Insights Dashboard is just not very good… and that this is an example of an ambition to innovate distracting us from focussing on current priorities.

Postscript

A month or so after writing the piece above I heard that NHSE will not be updating the Insight Dashboard – they have “had a tough budgeting round and will not be doing any updating or further development.”

So thats that then.

 

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