Introduction The aim of the study is to evaluate participants' opinions on their experience of the Bowel Screening Wales (BSW) service and thus provide a snapshot view of the programme.
Methods The primary research incorporated a thorough examination of peer-reviewed articles focusing on factors that may influence the patient experience of healthcare services. This included issues surrounding service performance, specifically, public satisfaction and experience processes, relationship with healthcare professionals, information giving and waiting times. Additionally region of residence and gender as influencing factors of user perspectives were discussed. An anonymous survey took the form of a self–administered, postal questionnaire.
Results It was established that the users of the programme had a positive experience. User satisfaction was very high in all areas of the programme. Respondents were satisfied with the invitation pack and the way results were communicated to them. A high majority of those that contacted the freephone helpline were satisfied with the service they received. A high positive result was received in relation to satisfaction with the SSP appointment and the information received to prepare them for this appointment. 100% of respondents reported that they were satisfied with the services they received for further investigations. Participants appeared satisfied with the information provided to prepare them for a sensitive investigation which is significant since only one respondent had received a face to face appointment. The majority of respondents reported that they were treated with respect by the healthcare staff and that they were confident in their abilities. Longer waiting times did not appear to influence user satisfaction of the service. The data on region of residence and experience was inconclusive. It emerged from the data on sex and gender that there was little variation in the experiences of males and females. It is recognised that participants may respond to questionnaires in a favourable manner. However, the qualitative data provided by this study has confirmed the positive findings of the quantitative information.
Conclusion The outcomes of the study achieved the aims and objectives. Recommendations for service improvements were made to BSW based on the findings of this study. The study will allow for future snap shots to compare user experience and trend over time. This is a new national service and there were many comments expressing gratitude for the opportunity to participate and relief at obtaining a negative result. As the programme becomes embedded and users become more familiar with bowel screening there would be an opportunity to compare these finding against experiences in several years time.
Competing interests None declared.