Policy & Measurement | Global Perspective

What are the sources of patient experience feedback in the UK prison setting, and what do patients and healthcare staff think about giving and receiving feedback in prison? A qualitative study

Background: The collection of patient experience feedback (PEF) has seen a marked global increase in the past decade. Research about PEF has concentrated mainly on hospital settings albeit a recent interest in primary care. There has been minimal research about PEF in the prison healthcare setting. The aim of this study was to explore the role of prison PEF, the different forms it might take and the perceptions of healthcare staff and people in prison. Methods: Qualitative face to face interview study involving 24 participants across two prisons (male and female) in the North of England, involving 12 healthcare staff and 12 patients. Framework analysis was undertaken. Results: PEF sources were variable, from informal and verbal through to formal and written. The willingness of people in prison to give PEF related to whether they felt sufficiently comfortable to raise concerns, with some feeling too frightened and having apprehension about anonymity. It was viewed as disheartening to give PEF but not be informed of any outcome. Healthcare staff opinions about PEF were divergent but they found PEF unhelpful when it was about prison regime issues rather than healthcare. Suggestions for improving the PEF process were put forward and included accessibility, anonymity and digitalisation. Conclusions: This is the first study to report findings about prison PEF. There are broad similarities between our findings and research examining hospital-based PEF. Prison healthcare services seem to be listening to patients but the ways in which PEF is collected, considered and used could be improved.