VOICES Survey Results 2017


During January – December 2017 relatives of deceased patients known to the inpatient unit (IPU) and the St. Michael’s Hospice Community Palliative Care Team (SMHCPCT) were surveyed using a modified VOICES questionnaire. Relative’s views were ascertained of the service that they and the patient had received from the Hospice.

  • A total of 323 questionnaires were sent out during 2017 and 140 were returned: a 43% response rate. This is a 3% decrease on the response rate for 2016.
  • This year there was no nationally available statistics, based on the National Survey of Bereaved People (VOICES) for 2016 as this national survey is currently under review.

Family and Friends Test SMH VOICES 2017

We are delighted that in 2017, 97% of respondents (n=127) stated that they were either likely or extremely likely to recommend the Hospice to their friends or family if they needed similar care or treatment.

Key Findings:


  • Relatives’ perceptions of patient’s relief of symptoms other than pain had improved (8% increase on 2016 survey) and addressing patient financial concerns improved (6% increase).
  • There was a 7% decrease in relatives responding that ‘the patient’s pain was relieved completely all of the time’.
  • Relatives perceived themselves receiving enough emotional support, increased in 2017. There was also a 9% increase of relatives reporting they had ‘definitely received enough support at the time of death’.
  • There was an increase in the excellent/exceptional ratings for both doctors (8% increase) and nurses (6% increase) in IPU.
  • There was a 10% increase in the perception by relatives, that therapists always showed dignity and respect to the patient.


  • There was a 1% increase in relative’s perception of the patient’s pain being controlled ‘completely all of the time in the community’. Perceptions of patient’s relief of symptoms other than pain had also improved by 1%.
  • There was an 8% decrease in relative’s stating that they ‘had support with family concerns’.
  • 93% of relatives stated that the SMHCPCT’s care and communication with others was well co-ordinated. This is a 6% increase from 2016.


  • There was an 11% reported increase in patient’s informing their relative where they would like to die. Patients wish to die at home (as reported by relatives) still clearly, remains their preferred place of death (76%).
  • There was a 9% increase in relatives who reported that they had spoken to someone at the Hospice after the patient had died.


The majority, (55%) of benchmarks within the 2017 VOICEs survey were either the same or more positively reported by relatives than the 2016 survey.

Most of the reported benchmarks which were not the same or more positively reported within the 2017 survey, had a discrepancy of 5% or less.