In February 2024, the three local Healthwatch in Sussex sought people’s experiences of ‘Patients Know Best’ through a short web-based poll.

Patients Know Best is designed to create a single secure Personal Health Record where health/social care providers bring together patient information in one place. Patients can then access correspondence, test results and other features.

By Healthwatch East Sussex
Healthwatch in Sussex

We heard:

159 people from across Sussex shared their views with us.

– A majority (51.6%) felt Patients Know Best made experiences of managing their health and care easier/better, but 10.1% felt it made it harder/worse.

– Test results were the feature most identified as Very useful/Useful (76.8%), followed by Clinical Documents (62.9%) and Appt management (51.6%).

– The least useful features were: messaging with health professionals, resources (advice and information), and appointment management.


Respondents to our poll told us they would like to see:

Improved awareness amongst health professionals of Patients Knows Best and other digital NHS platforms to support consistency of use and messaging to users.

“Get all health and care professions to use it. Then it might work as we all wish.”

Increased connectivity between Patients Know Best and other datasets, such as GP medical records, to reduce the need for multiple NHS apps and platforms.

“Consistency of records – entry from all involved in patient care pathway, diagnostics, diagnosis, treatments, correspondence etc.”

A clearer and simpler digital ‘offer’ from NHS services, which supports quick and easy access, but reduce overlap and duplication between different platforms.

“There are too many apps, patients know best, GP surgery app, local hospital app and the NHS app. Surely only one is needed that contains details of all health data. The current system is disjointed and confusing “

“It would be ideal to have a single point of entry to ALL NHS services, records and so on. Patients Know Best is a step towards that.”

Access to a greater range of test results and information, and shorter intervals between receipt by patients and follow-up by services.

“Include all test results as soon as they are available.”

“Would like MRI, CT scan, ultrasound etc. reports to be available to read.”

Improved information around test results, with clarification on their meaning and how they will be followed up by health professionals in a timely way.

“I have no idea how to interpret results and had an anxious wait. I do believe it’s good to have them to refer back to but only after they’ve been explained and accompanied by a report in layman’s terms.”

Increased communication options, reducing the need to contact services via methods outside of the platform. Greater use of plain English on the platform.

“Communication with GP or Hospital to save having to make a phone call.”

“It would be good to include a directory of medical abbreviations.”


Next steps

As the public champion for local health and care services, Healthwatch East Sussex will continue to work in partnership with commissioners and providers to monitor the experiences of patients and the public in accessing health and care services locally and explore how ongoing improvements may be delivered.

We will share the attached report with East Sussex County Council, NHS Sussex, Healthwatch England and others to share this insight and encourage its incorporation into future initiatives.


Tell Us Your Experiences 

Please tell us your experiences of local health and care services via our Feedback Centre and let us know how this has been for you. 

We want to hear if it has been good, bad or indifferent.


Help and support with Health and Care 

If you need help or support related to health or care, then please contact our Information & Signposting Service via 

0333 101 4007 or 

View the report

Click the link below to download the report

Healthwatch in Sussex - Patients Know Best Poll Results - February 2024 Download File (pdf 108.18 KB)

Related Reports

How Healthwatch has contributed to health and care in Sussex

This report provides an overview of the themes that the three Healthwatch in Sussex (Brighton &Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex) heard between June and September 2023, and the responses received from our health and care partners. A document summarising our recent publications is also provided.

Healthwatch in Sussex
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