Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

The big ask

The big ask is the largest NHS survey we've ever done in Dorset

The biggest survey ever undertaken with local people about the NHS in Dorset publishes its research findings.

The big ask – a unique survey run by health organisations across Dorset* asked for your views of local NHS services.

Ranging from your local GP and out of hours’ support to community, mental health and hospital services, we asked how well informed you are about the various services available locally, how you choose your health care and what services you use the most. 

Over 6000 people took part in the research which was carried out independently by The Market Research Group at Bournemouth University.

The survey reveals that:

84% of local people are satisfied with local NHS services and are most appreciative of the skills and attitude of NHS staff.

Areas you want us to improve are GP and hospital appointment times and better access to treatments, services and skilled staff at evenings and weekends.

Greater awareness of access to mental health crisis teams and a better patient experience using the NHS 111 non-emergency telephone service are also cited as areas needed for improvement.

Three-quarters of local people have used A & E because it was an emergency, while 15% admit to having used it as their GP surgery was closed.

The majority of local residents are also prepared to travel further across the county for specialist care.

Next steps

Each of the NHS organisations that took part in The big ask are working together to develop action plans to ensure your experiences and views contribute to decisions made about future local services. The big ask involved people in Dorset via a postal questionnaire which was sent to 12,000 homes. Additional survey forms were placed in GP practices and hospitals and an online version of the survey was made available on all NHS partner websites. The big ask was also supported by the Bournemouth Daily Echo.

You can read a summary of the research here, along with our action plans.

 *NHS organisations that represent The big ask are:

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Big Ask results by Locality

 Bournemouth North

Central Bournemouth


East Bournemouth

Mid Dorset

North Dorset

Poole Bay

Poole Central

Poole North


West Dorset

West Hampshire

Weymouth and Portland