Help with searching

On Patient Opinion it is easy to click on links in a page to see, for example,

  • more stories by the same author
  • more stories with the same tag
  • more stories about the same service

But sometimes you need more than this - you want to find just the right stories. And building the right search is particularly important if you want to use your search as the basis for a report, or an email alert.

Patient Opinion's search system is designed to be easy to use, but sometimes it can be a little confusing, and there are a few rough edges we still want to improve.

So how do you find just the right stories?

Adding and removing search terms (filters)

Our search system is based on the idea of adding and removing search terms (which we also call filters).

To narrow down the set of stories you want, you add a new search term. If you have narrowed the search too much (perhaps you have no stories left in the results), you remove a search term.

You can see which search terms you have already included in your search by looking at the filters listed under "your current search" on the search page:

Example of how a current search appears

This search will show only stories which are tagged with "nursing", and have been contributed since 1 January 2011, through Patient Opinion.

It will only include stories which are in the current user's subscription.

There are three important things to notice in the screenshot above:

  1. To add a term, type it in the box, and then click the green plus button
  2. To remove a term, click the red minus button next to it
  3. The search shown above will only show stories within your subscription. You know this because it shows the search "filtered by your subscription". If you don't see this on your search, then your search will begin from all the stories on Patient Opinion, instead of just the stories in your own subscription.

One common mistake is to type a term in the box, or select an option from one of the additional subscriber filters, and forget to add it to the search with the green plus button.

If you want your search to include only stories in your subscription, you should ensure you are logged in, and that you are in "subscriber view" (shown at the top of the page when you log in).

If you want your search to start from all stories on Patient Opinion, you should either log out, or switch to "public view".

Search terms you can add by typing in the box

When you type into the search term box, we will try to make a good guess on how best to use what you type.

  • If you type the name of a service we know (for example "Derriford Hospital"), we will filter your search to just stories about that service
  • If you type the name of a population area we know (for example "Sheffield"), we will filter your search to just stories from that area
  • If you type the name of a tag (for example "thank you"), we will filter your search to just stories with that tag
  • If you type the name of a specialty we know (for example "cardiology"), we will filter your search to just stories about services which provide that specialty
  • If you type something we don't recognise (for example "had an attitude"), we will filter your search to just stories containing that exact phrase

You can add as many filters to your search as you need.

More information

Additional search terms you can add

When you are logged in and in "subscriber view", there are additional search terms you can use to refine your search.

Help with additional search terms

Refining your service filters

Help with service selection