Feedback for Sheffield Children's Hospital Sexual Assault Referral Centre: Are we getting it right?

  • Louise Messham Sheffield Medical School, University of Sheffield
  • Lesley Peers Sheffield Children's Hospital
  • Lilias Alison Sheffield Children's Hospital
Keywords: Patient Feedback, Child protection, Sexual assault, Service evaluation


Introduction: The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) at Sheffield Children’s Hospital is a relatively new service for children who have been victims of sexual assault or rape. Assessment of these children involves taking a full history of the assault as well as a medical and sexual history, and is followed by both a general and intimate examination. Feedback is essential to improve the services the SARC offers to victims and their families
at such a traumatic time.

Aims: To assess user satisfaction and suggest improvements to the existing SARC service.
Method/Results: Completed questionnaires from SARC users were collected over a period of 13 months and the data analysed. Analysis of the 38 returned questionnaires demonstrated that the majority of feedback from users was positive. There were only four responses that could be interpreted as neutral. There were numerous positive and few negative comments in the free-text boxes.

Conclusion: Child sexual abuse victims use the service at a difficult time. After such a traumatic experience one would expect at least some negative feedback. However, the analysis of the small numbers giving feedback demonstrated that the majority of them found the experience to be positive or very positive.

Learning points: Patient feedback is a valuable tool in service evaluation and improvement. It can be used for quality improvement in a SARC setting.

Author Biographies

Louise Messham, Sheffield Medical School, University of Sheffield
Medical student, Sheffield Medical School
Lesley Peers, Sheffield Children's Hospital
Child Assessment Unit, Consultant
Lilias Alison, Sheffield Children's Hospital
Child Assesment Unit, Consultant


1 — Department of Health (2013) Public health functions to be exercised by NHS England. Service specification No. 30. Sexual assault services. Available at: (accessed 16/03/15)

2 — Department of Health (2010) Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS. Available at: (accessed 16/03/15)

3 — Department of Health (2009) Understanding what matters. A guide to using patient feedback to transform services. Available at: (accessed 16/03/15)

4 — General Medical Council (2007) 0-18 years: Guidance for all doctors. Available at: (accessed 16/03/15)

5 — HM Government, Department for children, schools and families (2010) Working together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Available at: (accessed 16/03/15)
How to Cite
Messham, L., Peers, L., & Alison, L. (2015). Feedback for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Sexual Assault Referral Centre: Are we getting it right?. Res Medica, 23(1), 63-72.