A record year for trends
2016 was another record year for research. The number of key trends grew by 11% while significant findings were up by 7%. Challenges and issues were at an all-time high. Even urgent priorities defied predictions of a slowdown and grew by 2%.
These are among the top findings of the NHS Networks annual survey of surveys, a synthesis of the year’s most important surveys.
Doctors once again topped the list of Most Annoyed Professionals with more than 40% quite cross, 36% really annoyed and 24% either angry or seething. This year, for the first time hospital doctors were as narked as GPs. In second place, nurses made a strong comeback following another outbreak of stoicism in 2015, which saw the profession slip down the league table.
Who we trust and why
The latest Ipsos MORI Most Trusted survey shows that the public are more likely to trust people who make them better when they get ill than those who fine them for speeding, appear smug on television or write for the Daily Mail.
The BMA’s Clinical Time Lost to BMA Workload Surveys survey concludes that GPs have barely any time between surveys to see patients, a problem that the BMA lays squarely at the door of the government.
The BMA said the finding confirmed the result of its bi-weekly Mindless Form-filling Survey, which showed a disturbing number of GPs are retiring early or emigrating to New Zealand “just to get away from mindless bureaucracy”.
Better news came from the 2016 Likelihood Survey, which found more things likely to happen in future than were happening now. Little happened as a result of the 2015 survey, but a Department of Health spokesman said he was confident that the NHS would make up for lost ground in 2017 thanks to a strongly worded preface by a junior minister planned for next year’s survey.
The King’s Fund’s Most Important Things Review reveals that integration, transformation and sustainability are now the most important things, pushing innovation, efficiency and compassion off the top three spots for the first time in more than 12 months. The review stressed that all important things are important, though some are more important than others. The King’s Fund promised that next year’s review would be slightly different.
Almost all health economies (98%) now claim to be place-based, but with some more place-based than others. The government has vowed to address unwarranted regional variations as a matter of urgency, promising to take immediate action against any place lacking in pace or scale.
More surveys than ever produced obvious results, confirming what we already knew. More than half (58%) were rated quite obvious, with the remainder deemed either very or completely obvious. Experts warn that obviousness remains notoriously hard to predict.
Thanks to the National Office of Surveys for its comprehensive report on Healthcare Indicators and Trends (NOS HIT 2016), the source of the data for this year’s review.
Research editor: Julian Patterson