I’d always thought of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) from the point of view of the poor person who was expected to ‘manage’ their operation based on a single score (NPS – A score of 7.2 – “What the f*** can I do with that?”)  that, as a tool, simply doesn’t do the job for any business that is more complex than a shoe shop.

Then, last week, I came across NPS as a customer.

Between Tuesday and Saturday I was a customer at Barnsley General Hospital. Here is a list of some of the things I experienced in that short stay: –

A couple of hours in Accident and Emergency

An hour in an acute medical ward

Three nights in the Coronary Care Unit

One night in the main coronary ward

Three different consultants and their entourages on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Then, a complete absence of any doctors on the Saturday.

A cardiovascular imaging scan

A mobile X-ray machine

Nurses (one of whom was in the middle of a 91-hour week)


Fabulous domestic staff

Hospital food, where sachets of salt accompanied every meal.

Lots of machines

A broken shower

Patients, one of whom had contracted septicaemia from having a cannula in his arm for 8 days.

And systemic bed-blocking caused by a unit at another hospital (see the full review at

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barnsley-Hospital/154445817918576 ) which I estimated to be costing £54million a year.

The NPS customer satisfaction survey that patients are invited to complete, after their stay at the hospital (and, by definition, at the point in time when they are delighted to be going home) was so simplistic that it beggared belief.

My message to the NHS is – do the survey properly and get good quality, useable feedback, or don’t bother.