Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust (RSCH) is a leading General Hospital serving a local population of 320,000. Providing emergency and general hospital services, it is also the lead specialist centre for cancer patients in Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire; serving a population of 1.2 million. The Hospital is structured around 13 ‘Specialty Business Units' (SBU) and has 527 beds and 14 operating theatres.
RSCH sees around 215,000 outpatients a year, 58,000 patients are admitted for treatment, around 72,000 patients attend the A&E department and more than 3,200 babies are delivered.
The Trust has an annual income of £199 million and it employs approximately 3,000 staff. The current financial environment had placed, on the Trust, an obligation to cut operating-costs and a number of options for cost-saving had been determined. Management gathered feedback from staff at meetings and briefing-sessions but it was decided that a formal, hospital-wide, survey was required in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of staff preferences as to the options for cost-saving.
It was decided that the most effective approach was to undertake an employee consultation survey delivered by an external agency. As well as offering good value for money it would provide anonymity and confidentiality for respondents and give staff the freedom to express their views and feelings in a non-attributable way.
After researching the market RSCH selected Sigmer Technologies as their preferred survey supplier; the selection being based on Sigmer's skills, capabilities, experience and survey technology which provided a high-quality service at a very competitive cost. The Sigmer offering included:
• Availability of a range of template staff surveys for on-line and paper which are easily bespoked to suit individual requirements
• In-house team for technical survey design for on-line and paper modes
• Graphic and accessibility design for on-line and paper questionnaires
• A robust 'industrial strength' survey system hosted from our highly-secure data-centre in London
• Full service printing and mailing
• Data reception, entry and confidential recycling of paper questionnaires
• Flexible data import and export
• Provision of an on-line reporting portal which provides real-time access to summary statistics during the survey.
• Ability to conduct complex analysis and reporting of attitudinal responses
All of this delivered within an adaptable and transparent project management environment; with full quality assurance at each stage and of every deliverable.
Sigmer survey experts worked with the RSCH Project Team to develop the on-line questionnaire. RSCH believed that approximately 1,100 staff (33% of total) would be unable to access an on-line survey and a paper questionnaire and survey pack were therefore developed for this cohort. The online survey was hosted from Sigmer’s high security data centre in London.
The Project Team was provided with an on-line reporting portal that allowed them to monitor overall response statistics for the survey and to view a standard summary report of attitudinal responses. A further detailed reporting portal was provided at the end of the survey allowing viewing and downloading of survey data.
The survey has been a considerable success for the hospital and it has given much useful feedback for Management. Detailed analysis of the response data has provided clear indicators as to the preferences of staff with regard to the options for cost-saving.
About Sigmer Technologies Ltd. and Survey Suite
Sigmer Technologies (sigmer.com) was formed in 1999 and is based at the Sussex Innovation Centre, on the University of Sussex Campus in Brighton. We are experts in survey design, survey development and management of response data. During the survey design stage we use demographic profiling of invitees, and a thorough assessment of usability and accessibility needs, in order to ensure that the survey is as inclusive as possible for each cohort.
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