A SCOTTISH university is to lead the UK's largest ever study into patient experience and the delivery of frontline health care.

Researchers at Stirling University are to lead Improving Patient Experience of Care (IPEC), which will involve 6000 patients and almost 1000 nurses and other health professionals over a two-year period.

The project, funded by the Scottish Government's Chief Nursing Officer, will be launched today in NHS Tayside. Hospital patients on 30 surgical and medical wards will be asked to fill out a questionnaire during their stay. Questions will cover a number of issues such as standards of care, pain control and wellbeing.

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IPEC will draw on the collective expertise of academics at Stirling, Dundee and Glasgow Caledonian universities.

The study will also ask nurses about their own wellbeing, their perceptions of the standard of care on wards and whether they think their working culture supports good caring.

Professor Martyn Jones of Dundee University, who will lead the NHS Tayside arm of the study, said: "To help health professionals to deliver good quality care, we need to understand how the care climate in each ward affects staff well-being and care provision."