NHS patients becoming increasingly consumerist

Introduction The study I am reviewing is “Are NHS patients becoming increasingly consumerist? “. This study shadows a previous study carried out by Ellen Annandale. “Are we consumerist? “. She wanted to establish whether there was a rise in consumerism in the NHS. She asked questions such as ” Do patients believe they were entitled to a better service? , Are they becoming more aware of their rights and were more complaints being made by these patients regarding the NHS service? “.

Ellen Annandale concluded from her study that there had been a rise in complaints over service and that patients were becoming more aware of their rights therefore establishing that there had been a rise in consumerism in the NHS over recent years. The study was carried out shadowing Annandale’s to conclude whether or not consumerism in the NHS is still rising and whether that means Annandale’s study is still valid today. Theoretical Context of the Study In this study it is not clear which theoretical context it follows. The researcher does not give any reference to this either.

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Methodological Approach and Methods Used The study has a Positivists approach because they use Quantitative data to establish its results. This study uses a questionnaire which allows the researcher to collect the data which can then easily be quantified. As this study needs to find a certain answer to certain questions it is easiest form to giving a clear answer. The researcher used a questionnaire in the study to establish the conclusions. This information collected is Primary data. The researcher carried out this questionnaire on a small scale.

Only asking 15 people to complete them, and all at their local hospital. It was compiled of a few simple questions all aiming towards, Did patients believe they should be receiving a better service? Therefore “Are NHS patients becoming increasingly consumerist? “. As the researcher states in the report this was a quick and cheap option as they were on a limited time scale. The researcher has not stated very clearly how they chose the sample of 3 people who took part in the questionnaire other than they were chosen using opportunity and that they were all staff at the hospital who had regular contact with the patients.

They also all agreed to take part in the study. The questionnaire is made up of closed questions to make it easier for the researcher to turn the information into numerical data. The researcher shows how by using a questionnaire that they are using a form that is confidential as they doesn’t require any form of identity such as name or age. As there is a ethical issue in the research. The title of the questionnaire doesn’t give a clear idea of what the exact research is about, which may be misleading to those taking part but as there identity is not required it doesn’t cause a problem.

The researcher collates the findings in graphs and a table. It gives a clear reading of the results. The researcher would have had to look at what method would give the best validity and reliability. A questionnaire would give the researcher good reliability. Critical Analysis of Theoretical Context As there is no clear theoretical context approached in this study I am unable to analysis it but I think it would have improved the study if the researcher had established a theoretical approach. It may give it a clearer understanding if we could see the theory behind it.

Critical Analysis of Methodological Approach and Methods Used The Positivists approach is best as they use quantitative data and that is the best form for this research. The researcher has used a questionnaire to gain the information required for her study. This could then be turned into quantifiable data and presented in the form of a table and graphs. This is easy for us to see the results of her findings. The questionnaire used by the researcher was made up of six questions. I believe that only three of these questions were relevant to the study title.

The researcher could have instead used different questions to aid her research. Whether the respondent is male or female in this research I think is irrelevant. I’m also aided in my thinking of this by the fact the researcher has only displayed graphs of the three relevant questions. However these graphs are clearly displayed and easy for the reader to 4 understand the findings. In the three questions I am talking about the researcher has given the respondent three choices of answering, agree, neither agree or disagree or disagree.

I think giving the option to neither agree or disagree doesn’t help with the finding as this gives the respondents the opportunity to perhaps opt out of answering the truth or not to perhaps think about how they truly feel about the question. This shows clearly in the results. In the first graph it shows that 8 out of 15 respondents answered with neither agree or disagree. That is just over half of the respondents not giving a clear answer. For the research carried out I think the use of a questionnaire is probably the best method that could be used. As the researcher states they were short of time and money.

This is a quick and fairly cheap method. It is quick and easy to quantify the results compared to perhaps interviews. The questionnaire is also unable to bias the respondents answers compared to interviews. There is also the fact that some of the respondents may wish to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the questions and they are able to do so with the questionnaire the researcher used they didn’t ask for any personal details. This would not have been able to be the case with interviews. However there are some disadvantages to using a questionnaire for research.

The respondents may not understand the questions or interpret them in a different way meant by the researcher. Also with the use of closed questions it may limit what the respondent wanted to say which may explain so many neither agree or disagree responses. The researcher could have used other methods such as interviews structure or unstructured but for reasons I have explained they wouldn’t be viable. A good method the researcher could have used is participant observation. The researcher could have seen for themselves the NHS patients and what it is really like on the wards.

However this would have been very time consuming and probably not practical for some one to be observing like this on a hospital ward. They would not be able to quantify their findings easily. As the researcher only took a very small sample it gives a very localised opinion. If the researcher had wanted a more generalised opinion she could have sent out postal questionnaires to other areas. Main Findings of the Study I have put the results of the key questions into a table. As you cant 5 see last two questions give results that most respondendents agree. The first question received that the majority of respondents neither agreed or

disagreed but out of the respondents that answered the majority agreed. From these results the researcher concluded that the “staff have experienced a rise in consumerism in recent years” which was the original hypothesis of the research. The researcher related their finding to the original study by Ellen Arrandale and found that their results were very similar. The original aim of the research was to determine whether or not Ellen Arrandales research is still valid in the present day. As the research findings were similar the researcher concluded that yes this was the case and Arrandales research is sill valid today.

This was established by the findings that patients are more aware of their rights, are more demanding and that there has been a rise in complaints in recent years. Critical Analysis of the Overall Findings of the Research I agree that from the research carried out and the methods that have been used that it confirms that NHS patients are becoming increasingly consumerist. As I mentioned earlier I feel that the questionnaire was not used to the best of its ability. There were only three key questions used. More questions could have been used to establish clearer findings.

Also again as I mentioned earlier way the researcher gave the respondents the option of answering the questions neither agree or disagree made a large gap in the findings. Leaving it that many respondents had no opinion of the questions being asked. So the researcher had to only take into account the respondents that had given an opinion. I would have omitted this option to hopefully have a clearer response from the respondents. However the researcher did take note of this problem in their evaluation. The researcher only conducted their research on a very small scale.

An opportunity sample was used and all from the researchers local 6 hospital. To get a more generalised result from a wider population the researcher could have either visited other hospitals or conducted a postal questionnaire. So this research could not be confirmed as being general to the wider population. As mentioned earlier though the researcher had very limited time to complete this research. As this research and Ellen Arrandales used similar questionnaires and resulted in similar results it concludes that this research and the research and findings are reliable.

However the validity of this research is questionable as the questionnaire can cause some weaknesses in this. The questions may not be answered truthly especially as the questionnaire is anonymous some repondents may just tick any box without realising the effects this could have on the research, especially with the option of ticking the box neither agree or disagree. They may not entirely understand a question or interpret it differently to the researchers meaning therefore they may give an incorrect answer. Quantitave data is probably not the best form for validity, qualitative data is argued to be better data for validity.

Conclusion This research is very interesting and highlights that NHS patients are becoming increasingly consumerist and that this is still the case after the original study by Ellen Arrandale. Unfortunatley the researcher does not mention when Arrandales original study was carried out so I am unable to see how long it is since the last findings. It is interesting to see the views of the NHS staff and to see what they think of their working situation and the patients. Before reading the research I had my opinion of what the study would conclude and it confirmed my opinions.

If it was feasible further research at other hospitals and more variety of NHS staff such as doctors, porters etc. would give a more accurate result of the wider population. This research has achieved what it set out to do and that is to see if Ellen Arrandales research is still valid today and to find out “Are NHS patients becoming increasingly consumerist? “. It concludes that the research is still valid today as there is still a rise in NHS patients becoming more demanding, more aware of their rights and that they are making more complaints.

Bibliography Class handouts. 2007,2008 Taylor, P. Richardson, J. Yeo, A. Marsh, I. Trobe, K. Pilkington, A. (2004) Sociology in Focus. Causeway Press, Bath. Wallace, H. “Are NHS patients becoming increasingly consumerist? “. Word Count: 1956 8 Contents Introduction 3 Theoretical Context of the Study 3 Methodological Approach and Methods Used 3 Critical Analysis of Theoretical Context 4 Critical Analysis of Methodological Approach and Methods Used 4 Main Findings of the Study 5 Critical Annalysis of the Overall Findings 6 Conclusion 7.