Responsiveness Study

Responsiveness of primary care services: development of a patient-report measure

Timescale: October 2010 – September 2013

Funder: NIHR HS&DR

Grant holders:

Dr Carolyn Tarrant, Prof Richard Baker, Prof Peter Jackson (University of Leicester)

Prof George Freeman (St George’s, London)

Prof Mary Boulton (Oxford Brookes University)

Dr Patricia Wilkie (National Association for Patient Participation)

Emma Angell (University of Leicester)

Interviewer: Janet Willars (University of Leicester)

Administrative support: Lisa Hallam (University of Leicester)

For further information about the study, please contact:

Emma Angell, Researcher, 0116 229 7256,

Carolyn Tarrant, Principal Investigator, 0116 252 3217,

Summary of the study

Providers of primary care services do not always respond well to the needs of different groups of patients, and certain groups of patients are often underserved. Practices are increasingly being encouraged to become more responsive to the needs of their patients.  Our aim in this study is to develop a questionnaire to measure responsiveness that can be used by diverse patient groups (including those with sensory disability, and those who do not read or write English). It will be designed so that it is suitable for use by a range of different primary care organisations (PCOs), including GP practices and walk-in centres.

This will involve, first of all, finding out what responsiveness means. We will do a literature review, and interviews and focus groups with up to 50 patients and 20 staff in 12 PCOs in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. We will develop a questionnaire and test it with 300 patients from six PCOs. We will then ask 15 PCOs across three different regions of the UK to send it to a total of 3,000 patients. By doing this we can find out if it is a good measure of responsiveness, and check it for consistency. We will ask staff how useful the results are to them.

Aims and objectives

Our aim in this study is to develop a patient report instrument to measure practice responsiveness. The measure will be reliable, valid, and appropriate for use across diverse patient groups, and will be designed for use by a range of different primary care service providers.

Our objectives are:

  • To identify key indicators of responsiveness, and appropriate approaches to measuring practice responsiveness, across diverse patient groups and across different primary care providers
  • To develop a patient-report instrument to measure practice responsiveness in a range of formats, and pilot the measure to optimise acceptability and usability
  • To develop an approach to describing the characteristics of users of different primary care organisations, which will enable providers to understand how the findings apply to their population and to ensure they access the views of diverse groups.
  • To assess the reliability, validity, and acceptability to patients, and feasibility of use of the instrument.

To view a lay summary of the project, please click here

To view the full protocol, please click here


Progress to date:

The Responsiveness study is now closed.  The draft final report has been submitted to the NIHR HS&DR programme.



The full report is now available:

Responsiveness of primary care services: development of a patient-report measure – qualitative study and initial quantitative pilot testing Health Services and Delivery Research, No. 2.46 Carolyn Tarrant, Emma Angell, Richard Baker, Mary Boulton, George Freeman, Patricia Wilkie, Peter Jackson, Fatimah Wobi, and Diane Ketley.

A plain English summary of the report

A scientific summary of the report

The questionnaires are available free for use with the written permission of the University of Leicester. Please contact Carolyn Tarrant.


Share this page: