What is the POSITIVE study?

POSITIVE (Using Positive Feedback Provided By Service Users In Health Service Improvement) is a study running from November 2021 to September 2022.  The study is led by the University of Nottingham, in partnership with Care Opinion and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The aim of POSITIVE is to understand how feedback collected from former NHS patients and service users can be used to help improve services that are currently on offer. The focus in POSITIVE is on feedback about positive experiences of using services. The rationale for this is that there is more to learn from experiences that have gone well than from experiences that have gone badly. For example, positive experiences with one part of the NHS might be used to identify units which are functioning well, and whose working practices might inform the work of similar units elsewhere.

What does POSITIVE involve?

The study involves five tasks:

  1. conduct a systematic review of existing research into the impact on healthcare staff and services of receiving positive feedback from patients
  2. develop heuristics for identifying positive feedback in two databases: Care Opinion and the NHS Friends and Family Test
  3. collect at least 200 examples of positive feedback from these two databases
  4. analyse the characteristics of these 200 examples to provide an understanding of what positive feedback involves, and for Care Opinion on the impact it has had
  5. consult with health service care professionals, service uses, managers and educators to develop recommendations for improvements to how the NHS collects feedback and how positive feedback might be used to improve services.


We published a systematic scoping review of using postive patient feedback for service improvement here.

Further information

For further information on the POSITIVE Study, please contact Stefan Rennick-Egglestone through stefan.egglestone@nottingham.ac.uk