<p>Purpose – From December 2005, patients in the UK needing an operation will be offered a choice of four or five. These could be NHS trusts, foundation trusts, treatment centres, private hospitals or practitioners with a special interest operating within primary care. This is called “Choose and Book”. The purpose of this research is to discover how critical facilities management service factors are in influencing a choice of hospital. The aim is to find out what the most important influencing factors are to people when making a choice of which hospital to have their operation. If facilities services and the patient environment are influencing factors in the patient experience, which are considered critical. Design/methodology/approach – Focus groups were used as the primary method of data collection. Findings – The study finds that all three focus groups placed more importance on clinical factors than facilities factors. High standards of cleanliness and good hospital food were the two facilities factors that participants in all groups placed most importance on. Cleanliness was highlighted by all three groups as a top facilities priority for the NHS at the moment and there was a general perception that private hospitals have better standards of cleanliness. Practical implications – By understanding how important facilities factors are in influencing patient choice and which ones have a critical impact, it will help NHS trusts focus on where they channel their resources.</p
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