Louise McIver, Patient Involvement Co-ordinator at Southend University NHS Foundation Trust, has recruited 42 active mystery shoppers who regularly report back on their experience with hospital services.  Rather than ‘fictional customers’, recruits are actual service users who have volunteered to be actively involved in making a difference.

Louise advertised around the Trust for participants and the initiative encourages feedback at all points of contact in numerous ways: as a service user themselves, from a carer’s perspective or on behalf of a friend or family members’ experience.

Feedback is returned via our real time online survey accessed by a simple link or answers can be posted in.

‘It’s excellent to have another option to offer our Mystery shoppers which is much quicker and user friendly. We originally started with paper forms but having the online surveys is much more cost effective and a quicker way to obtain feedback.’– Louise McIver

The ‘You said, We did’ actions that are a direct result of Mystery Shopper comments are significant and support the concept:


  • Hand held mirrors are now available on wards
  • Oncology wards did not have Wifi access leading to frustration from patients who use the internet to pass the time. Full Wifi coverage is now a priority for the IT department.


  • Mystery shoppers reported back on restrictive visitor times resulting in extended times and a trial of partners being able to stay overnight
  • A limited menu that did not account for breast feeding patients calorie requirements now includes options to cover breastfeeding mothers

Louise uses a regular newsletter to communicate the changes made as a result of feedback to her recruits and the Mystery Shopper Team continues to grow too!

Is your trust ready to take patient experience to the next level? Let us help with our online surveys that are ready to be deployed to your recruits!