Entering and submitting final data

Coding final data

For all surveys in the programme, the following coding will apply. Please note there may be additional coding rules for specific surveys which can be found in the survey specific handbooks under the ‘Surveys’ section of this website.

  • Each row records one patient’s response to the survey:


  • If a response is missing for any reason, it should be left blank or coded as a full stop (.)


Example data in table
  • If two boxes are crossed on a single response question, the response should be left blank or coded as a full stop.
  • Where a respondent has given their response inconsistently with the formatting of the questionnaire, but where their intended response is nonetheless unambiguous on inspection of the completed questionnaire, then the respondent’s intended response should be entered.
  • If for the year of birth question the respondent provided an unrealistic response (e.g. the current survey year), this should be entered into the final dataset unless they have unambiguously indicated their actual year of birth elsewhere.
  • Where a respondent has crossed out a response, this should not be entered in the data. Where a respondent has crossed out a response but indicated a second response option, this second choice should be entered into the data.
  • For most questions, each column corresponds to one survey question. However, this is not the case for multiple response questions. Each survey will have different multiple response questions. Please refer to the survey specific handbook or consult with the Survey Coordination Centre as to which questions should be treated as a multi-response for each survey.


Multiple response questions are coded: 1 if the box is crossed; 0 if the box is not crossed

The above example would be coded as follows:

Example data in table

Please note: If a respondent does not answer any part of a multiple response question (i.e. does not tick any of the response options) then it should be left blank or coded as a full stop.

  • Overall question: The overall question is an exception to all the above coding rules. For this question, people are asked to circle a number on an 11 point scale from 0-10. We recommend that this question is entered manually rather than scanning it and should only be entered where the response is unambiguous.

– If two boxes are circled or if the respondent provided an answer which is in any manner difficult to interpret (i.e. they have drawn a mark between two of the numbers), please code this as ‘98’.

– If the question is left entirely blank, the response should be left blank or coded as a full stop.

Entering free text comments

All free-text comments are required to be submitted to the Survey Coordination Centre. Any analysis of these free text comments will be conducted in a way that would not allow individuals to be identified.

The free text comments must be included in full, including any comments on additional sheets of paper. Comments should be recorded verbatim with sensitive information included. The only exception to the above is that names of individual staff members may be redacted at your discretion or on advice from a trust.

There is a statement included in the questionnaire (above the free text comments box) that states:

“Please note that all comments you provide will be looked at in full by the NHS Trust, Care Quality Commission and researchers analysing the data. We will remove any information that could identify you before publishing any of your feedback.”

The comments should be entered in the main data file alongside the responses to the questions and submitted to the Survey Coordination Centre with your final data.

Checking the data

You are required to submit raw (“uncleaned”) data to the Survey Coordination Centre. Final data should be entered exactly as stated in the previous sections. Nothing more should be done to amend or clean the data. Before submitting your data to the Survey Coordination Centre, you must carry out the checks outlined in the Data Submission Checklist which will be made available on the survey specific webpage.

It is essential that these checks are carried out thoroughly. The Survey Coordination Centre is not obliged to make any corrections to data once it has been submitted.

Submitting the final data file

Final data must be submitted to the Survey Coordination Centre as one anonymised, password protected Excel file that includes information about the patient sample and responses. For each survey, the Survey Coordination Centre provide a survey-specific Data Entry Spreadsheet that should be used for submitting the data. This can be found on this website under the ‘Survey materials’ section for the survey you are working on.

Please submit the file using the following specifications:

  • Use Microsoft Excel Worksheet (not workbook). Any version of Excel is acceptable.
  • Use one row of data for each patient in the sample.
  • Use one column of data for each item of patient information or response.
  • Patients who are missing their record number should be added to the bottom of the list and not matched to patients with similar demographics.
  • If any trusts have collected any additional variables other than those required for the survey, please do not include these in the final data file you send to the Survey Coordination Centre.
  • If any trusts have submitted an increased sample size of what’s required for the survey, please ensure these additional records are removed from the file.

To comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, name and address details must not be sent to the Survey Coordination Centre.

Additional information required when submitting final data:

  • Contact details (i.e. telephone numbers and e-mail addresses) of someone from the approved contractor or the in-house trust who will be able to answer any queries about the data.
  • A completed copy of the Data Submission Checklist – this will be different for each survey and will be made available on the survey specific webpage in the surveys section.


Final data should be submitted to the Survey Coordination Centre using our secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) facility. Final data must not be sent via email. Following the final weekly monitoring report, the Survey Coordination Centre will provide you with details on how to submit your data via the secure FTP.

You will be asked to call the Survey Coordination Centre to receive your log in and password to log into your folder on the FTP. Once you’ve logged in, there will be a box that appears with the option to ‘Upload’ your file (see image below). Once you’ve uploaded your file, it will be shown in the right side of the box. You may then log out of the FTP and the Survey Coordination Centre will be able to access the data and remove it from the FTP.

Please note: If the box does not appear once you log in, your computer could be treating the box as a pop-up which may be blocked. You will need to check with your IT team to enable pop-ups for this specific website.

The following image shows a file uploaded onto the FTP: