Navigating the NHS Patient Experience Meta-Analysis

The Task 

Pfizer is a global pharmaceutical company, developing and producing medicines and vaccines across a wide range of therapy areas.

Customer Faithful was commissioned by Pfizer UK to re-analyse existing Pfizer research data sets to explore a new research question –what factors did patients define as impacting their ability to navigate their NHS healthcare, within and across each dataset?


Pfizer UK had commissioned a number of patient experience studies over a period of 5 years, with each one focusing on particular health conditions, including oncology, arthritis, pulmonary hypertension and atrial fibrillation.

Pfizer was interested in exploring whether a meta-analysis of these studies could reveal possible commonalities, which in turn could potentially inform healthcare professionals how to improve patient pathways, as well as 2-way communication between HCPs and patients.

Customer Faithful used its Lifelines Navigator methodology to code both the primary data and its summary findings documentation to create a query-able database. This pinpointed patient accounts of navigating the NHS, including what worked well (positive) as well as what did not, and/or was considered a challenge (negative).

Key Impact

The meta-analysis was able to identify how treatment pathways transitioned from a rules-based approach to a more personalised or ‘values based’ one.  Under rules-based pathways, patients typically fell into line with initial treatments without question (deference to doctors, no experience yet of treatment). However, as their experience of treatment and their health condition lengthened over time, their desire moved towards wanting a more personalised treatment, recognising their own lifestyle and value preferences, as well as balancing impact upon other comorbidities.

Through the use of Customer Faithful’s Lifelines Navigator, Pfizer UK was able to extract fresh insight from its existing data without the cost of commissioning further fieldwork. Pfizer UK shared the findings across a range of healthcare providers, to help them understand common issues within treatment pathways from a patient perspective, and adjust them where possible to reflect it. By so doing, Pfizer added value to its stakeholder relationships with healthcare providers and patient advocacy groups.

Katy Carlisle