The final arbiter of everything": A genealogy of concern with patient experience in Britain

05 Dec 2017

‘Patient experience’ has become a significant concept in contemporary healthcare administration and policy, and the object of a good deal of caring and useful concern. Yet it is also a concept somehow rather set adrift. This article traces six different factors that have contributed to concern with patient experience, but that now lead to tensions between the multiple, potentially contradictory investments in the concept. Disentangling the different investments in the idea of patient experience offers greater clarity in evaluating criticisms that have been made of the solicitation and reporting of patient (and carer) experience data and affords an opportunity to examine what is at stake in both conceptual and policy discussions.