Understanding patient experience of out-of-hours general practitioner services in South Wales : a qualitative study

Egbunike, J N, Shaw, C, Bale, S, Elwyn, G and Edwards, A (2008) Understanding patient experience of out-of-hours general practitioner services in South Wales : a qualitative study. Emergency Medicine Journal, 25(10), pp. 649-654. ISSN (print) 1472-0205

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BACKGROUND: In the light of recent changes in the structure and provision of out-of-hours service in the UK, there is a need to re-assess the quality of care. One way to assess the quality of care is through patient experience. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore patient expectations and help-seeking behaviour, in order to understand their relationship with satisfaction and experience of out-of-hours care. METHODS: 30 semistructured telephone interviews were carried out with users of the general practitioner out-of-hours service in Gwent, South Wales. The interviews explored users' experiences of using the service. A thematic analysis of transcripts was carried out using NUD*IST software. Comparison of data within and across codes facilitated the identification of explanatory constructs. Double coding of a sample of transcripts and discussion of emerging themes by members of the research team ensured the reliability of findings. RESULTS: Most (n = 25, 83%) respondents reported satisfaction with the overall service received but a few (n = 5, 17%) were dissatisfied. Patients generally had specific expectations of their consultation and there was a mismatch between patients' expectations of the service and what the service actually provides in some specific user groups. Unmet expectations resulted in subsequent, and in some cases, multiple consultations. CONCLUSIONS: Users' views and expectations may be used to inform service design and improve services, but the data also indicated a need to address user expectations of services, for example by enhanced information provision. Any such interventions to improve patient experience of out-of-hours care will need to be evaluated.

Item Type: Article
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences (until 2013)
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Depositing User: Clive Allnutt
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2017 15:38
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2018 20:18
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/emj.2007.052001
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/38648

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