A survey contractor, Quality Health Ltd, was appointed through a pre-established Framework Agreement. This Framework Agreement was developed after a rigorous selection process run by NSS National Procurement.
Scottish Government and ISD staff provided day-to-day support to the contractor for the administration of the survey during the fieldwork period.
The contractor carried out the fieldwork element of the survey, organising the mail out of survey packs, sending weekly monitoring updates to ISD, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Scottish Government, issuing reminders, input and quality assurance of data and sending completed datasets to ISD.
The fieldwork commenced on 7 th October 2015 with the initial survey packs containing the following:
- Introductory / Covering letter, backed with FAQs ( Appendix C);
- Cancer Patient Experience Survey questionnaire ( Appendix A);
- A sheet explaining in a variety of languages that translations were available via a helpline. This sheet also listed sources of support and information regarding cancer ( Appendix D).
- FREEPOST envelope in which to return the survey.
Patients who did not wish to take part in the survey were advised that they could indicate this either by phoning the helpline number and leaving their details so that they could be removed from the mailing list or returning the uncompleted questionnaire using the FREEPOST envelope. This would ensure that they would receive no further correspondence.
Reminder letters were sent out twice during the fieldwork period to further encourage participation in the study. The initial reminder was sent on 29 th October 2015 to patients who had not responded to the first mailing and who had not opted out. The first reminder pack consisted solely of a letter requesting the potential respondent complete the questionnaire sent in the original survey pack.
A second reminder was sent out on 19 th November 2015 to patients who had not responded, and who had not otherwise been removed from the sample. This was approximately three weeks after the first reminder letter was issued. At this stage a full survey pack (including an additional copy of the questionnaire and a FREEPOST envelope) was re-issued along with the second reminder letter to make it easier for participants to respond.
The survey closed on 22 nd January 2016.