A View of the PREM Experience

By Sarah Evans, Programme Support Officer at the UK Renal Registry

Working on the TP-CKD project for the last year I have seen the hard work and excitement created by what the programme’s delivering for renal units in Cohort 1. However when the Renal Unit Clinical Directors across England were approached about making the PREM (Patient Reported Experience Measures) a national survey – rather than limiting it to the TP-CKD programme units, there was more enthusiasm than ever anticipated.

There’s no way to deny this was an important piece of work for both professionals and patients, and with that came a need to get the PREM survey and information prepared, ready and sent out as promptly as we could.  I had been involved with the Measurement Workstream as part of the TP-CKD Programme and I’d seen the development of the PREM survey from its roots. True co-production brought this survey together which was a pleasure to be part of, working with clinicians and patients alike.

Once the questions had been agreed, designed and finalised, it was time to get the survey rolled out to all 52 Renal Units in England, along with other important resources such as guidance, posters and patient leaflets. A delivery of 5 crates arrived at the UK Renal Registry – the printed resources, and these had to be organised and sorted into individual packs for the renal units.

I found myself, and some wonderful helpers, in a small meeting room stacked to the ceiling with all the materials and we had very limited space to move! With some great team work the Renal Unit Packs were put together in amazing time and sent out. The excitement from all units about the PREM was more than we had expected, which was great. We had many requests for additional resources from across the units. And so, by the beginning of June, all 52 Renal Unit Packages, had been sent out – and breathe. Or so I thought!

It wasn’t long however, before I was in a sea of completed survey returns. I was receiving up to 100 pieces of post on a daily basis (I have never felt so popular!) and I was having a regular visit from the courier service with boxes full of returns. As they came in, what dawned on me was every single return was enveloped, and every returned survey was also stapled. For me and my helpers that meant a lot of manual, repetitive and time consuming work. As I looked around at my desk I was surrounded by staples which covered my desk space, empty envelopes hiding the carpet, and returns carefully piled up and ready for the next phase – scanning!

We had worked very closely with our supplier to ensure the scanning software was up to speed and capable of managing the number of returns which was on a much larger scale than we’d dealt with for the Patient Activation and Patient Reported Outcome Measures. So we had a brand new, quicker and more efficient, scanner. Over 8,000 surveys have now been scanned and the full checking process has completed.

The number of calls and emails I’ve received over the past month regarding the PREM has been amazing, and most people have been very excited to share their number of returns and their experiences of running the survey in their unit. Of course this was a pilot and so some have experienced some stumbling blocks, but we will all learn from our first national PREM survey and we have captured everyone’s comments which we will use when we revisit the PREM processes for 2017.

Although I’ve spent a few weeks with paper cuts, and finding random staples attached to my clothing as I finished my shifts, we couldn’t have asked for a better response. I am so pleased with not only the number of returns we’ve received but the enthusiasm from all the units involved. It has been an exciting project to be part of – and that’s even before we see the results and full analysis of the PREM.


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