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Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)

PROMs - frequently asked questions

The NHS wants to improve the outcomes of operations and it is crucial to ask patients what they think. The Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) questionnaires will allow the NHS to measure and improve the quality of treatment and care patients receive.

Your help would be greatly appreciated by the NHS, however, it is not compulsory. If you don't want to take part, don't complete the questionnaires. You can call the patient helpline referred to on the questionnaire for further advice. 

Can I change my mind?

Yes, you can change your mind up to the time when the data is analysed and personal details are removed. Withdrawing your information will not affect your medical or legal rights in any way.

What will happen to the information I give?

Your personal details will be held confidentially in accordance with the Data Protection Act. This will help the NHS to evaluate services and to improve the quality of care offered to patients in the future.

Your details will also be used to post you the second questionnaire, after your operation.

The NHS will hold your personal details for up to 24 months. If it wants to use your information for anything else, or hold the information for a longer period of time, the NHS must ask for your permission first.


Will my personal details be secure?

The handling and storage of personal information is done to strict data protection standards and overseen by the Department of Health's and the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s information security advisers. Published reports will not contain any personal details.


How can I register a compliment or complaint about my treatment?

If you are not happy with the treatment or care you received, you have the right to complain. Every NHS organisation has a complaints procedure. To find out about it, ask a member of staff, look on the hospital or trust's website, or contact the complaints department for more information.

You may, however, want to feedback positive comments on the care and services you have received. These comments are just as important as they tell NHS organisations what factors are contributing to a good experience for patients.

To learn more about your rights and the NHS complaints procedure, just visit the NHS complaints section on this site.


Can someone help me complete the questionnaire?

Yes, someone can help you complete the questionnaire, but you must be sure that the information and views provided are yours and not those of the person helping you. 

In addition, you can phone the patient helpline using the number shown on the questionnaire. Helpline staff are trained to help you understand the questionnaire. They can help you to complete the questionnaire over the phone, or provide translation services if you need help in your own language.



The person who was sent the questionnaire is too ill to complete it, or has passed away. What shall I do?

Please contact the patient helpline referred to on the quesstionnaire and the Helpline team will ensure you are not contacted again.



Do I have to give my consent to be involved in PROMs?

Your consent is needed for your personal details to be used. You give consent to be involved in the PROMs programme by completing and returning the Before your operation questionnaire that is given to patients at the hospital. The details are set out on the front page of the questionnaire.

Your personal details will be held and used by third party organisations working on behalf of the Health and Social Care Information Centre so that you can be sent a second questionnaire a few months later.

The NHS will add this information to other details that are relevant to your operation. Your details will only be used to help the NHS.

If you would like more information, please go to the Patient information page of this section.

Why are other organisations used to help with the PROMs programme?

The NHS uses other organisations to help handle and analyse the data you provide because of their independence and expertise in running surveys and analysing information. Only organisations which have completed an accreditation process have been chosen to support the NHS on PROMs.


Page last reviewed: 21/01/2015

Next review due: 21/01/2017

How to contact PROMs

If you have further questions about the PROMs programme, please contact the hospital where you received treatment. The Before Your Treatment questionnaire and the After Your Treatment covering letter will have further details.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and NHS England websites both offer additional information about the PROMs programme.

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