2. Introduction and Background
The Scottish Health and Care Experience Survey is a postal survey which was sent to a random sample of people who were registered with a GP in Scotland in October 2017. The survey has been run every two years since 2009.
The survey asked about people's experiences of accessing and using their GP practice and other local healthcare services; receiving care, support and help with everyday living; and caring responsibilities. The survey supports the principles underpinning the integration of health and care in Scotland outlined in The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014  .
The focus of this report is on the national results of the survey. Comparisons have been made with the previous iterations of this survey where this is possible.
Individual reports for each GP practice, GP Cluster, Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Board are available via an online dashboard at: www.gov.scot/GPsurvey.
Scottish Care Experience Survey Programme
The Health and Care Experience Survey is one of a suite of national surveys which are part of the Scottish Care Experience Survey Programme. The surveys aim to provide local and national information on the quality of health and care services from the perspective of those using them. They allow local health and care providers to compare with other areas of Scotland and to track progress in improving the experiences of people using their services.
Information about the other national care experience surveys is available at www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Health/careexperience.
The survey programme supports the three quality ambitions of the 2020 Vision  – Safe, Effective, Person-centred – by providing a basis for the measurement of quality as experienced by service users across Scotland. In particular the surveys support the person-centred quality ambition which is focused on ensuring that care is responsive to people's individual preferences, needs and values. More information about the context for this survey is provided in Chapter 4 of this report.
Aims of the Survey
The survey's specific objectives were:
For local improvement
- provide GP practices with structured feedback on people's experiences of their service, relative to other practices in Scotland and to previous results;
- provide NHS Boards, Health & Social Care Partnerships and GP Clusters with information about people's experiences in their respective areas and about variation within and between local areas.
- for informing national planning and monitoring performance. More information about this context is provided in Chapter 4 of this report;
- identify variation within and between local areas and if and how the level of positive and negative experiences have changed over time;
- highlight areas of best practice and areas for improvement;
- monitor the NHS Scotland LDP standards  on accessing GP services;
- informs nine out of the 23 health and wellbeing outcomes indicators under the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014.
The survey was designed to provide results for individual GP practices as well as providing information for use by NHS Boards; Health and Social Care Partnerships and GP Clusters.
People eligible to be sampled for the survey were those who were registered to a Scottish GP practice at 19 October 2017 and were aged 17 or over at that date. A total of 611,638 survey packs were sent out and 132,972 were returned giving a response rate of 22 per cent.
Throughout this report, with the exception of the data in Chapter 3, analysis is presented as weighted average percentages. Weighting the results in this way provides results which are more representative of the population of Scotland as a whole. A review of the weighting methodology was undertaken in advance of the 2017/18 survey, leading to some changes in the weights applied. Details of the review, the full methodology applied to the 2017/18 results and the impacts of the change are available at www.gov.scot/Resource/0053/00533823.pdf.
Results from previous surveys have been backdated where appropriate to ensure comparability over time.
All changes over time that are discussed in the report are statistically significant at the five per cent level. Due to the large sample size, even small changes of one per cent in the national results may be statistically significant.
More information about the survey design, response rates and methodology can be found in the Technical Report available at: www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781788517676.