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Minister for Health welcomes publication of 2018 National Patient Experience Survey

Health Minister Simon Harris has welcomed the publication of the National Patient Experience Survey (NPES) 2018 results, detailing patients’ experience in our hospitals.

26,752 people who were discharged from hospital in May were invited to participate in the survey, the second of its kind in Ireland. In total, 13,404 people took part resulting in a participation rate of over 50%.

The results show 84% of respondents said they had a very good or good experience in our hospitals, with 16% reporting a fair to poor experience.

Minister Harris thanked those who participated in the survey for providing an invaluable insight into their care in our hospitals. When filling out the survey, many patients also took the time to provide comments, with over 27,000 observations received. These in-depth descriptions give context to the results and allow patients to communicate their experience in their own words.

The Minister also confirmed that the expansion of the survey to maternity services is in development.

Speaking as the report was published, Minister Harris said:

This piece of work is an essential service for policy makers, service providers and regulators. It gives patients a direct say in improving the quality and the safety of our health services. Their voices and experiences must help shape the future of the health service. They will also help to inform the direction of the Sláintecare implementation programme.

Patients have also reported that additional emotional support from staff was needed, as time in hospital is often a challenging period for patients. In response to this, the National Healthcare Communication Programme has now been developed by the HSE. This very welcome programme of work aims to improve the experience of patients and their loved ones by supporting staff to take a sensitive and person-centred approach in all communications with patients and their families. This work programme delivers training, support and guidance to staff across our acute hospitals to better enable them to listen, explain and empathise with patients. Better communication has been shown to have a profound impact on healthcare outcomes and the experience of care for patients and their families.

As in 2017, the HSE and hospital groups have drafted quality improvement plans in response to the results of this survey. These are available online at

The 2017 and 2018 national and hospital reports, as well as more information about the NPES available on

See here for more.