SmartSurvey - Your questions answered

What is Smart Survey and what's the benefit to my Healthwatch? We answer your questions about our new survey tool.

As part of our work to improve the way we collect and analyse data, we’re offering every local Healthwatch a licence for SmartSurvey for one year. It will cost you absolutely nothing and will give you access to survey templates, data analysis tools, and the ability to collaborate with other local Healthwatch and Healthwatch England.

To help you understand how it will work and what benefit it will bring you, we've broken it down into Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). 

Smart Survey FAQ 

What is Smart Survey? 

SmartSurvey is a digital tool you can use to create, share and analyse surveys. 

Why have you specifically chosen Smart Survey?

SmartSurvey offers all features of leading survey tools. It also meets our data standards and is GDPR compliant, and its servers are based in the UK. Additionally, our pilot of SmartSurvey with several local Healthwatch found the tool very easy to use and had all the necessary features.

How much does it cost?

What will SmartSurvey cost my Healthwatch? 

Nothing – your licence is funded by us for the first year (2022-23). If we pilot year is successful Healthwatch England intend to continue to fund the platform, subject to available budget.

How much would it cost to continue with SmartSurvey if we don’t fund this platform beyond the year? 

An annual subscription for SmartSurvey is around £300 a year. Alternatively, Survey Monkey subscriptions are around £350 - £400 per year. Both SmartSurvey and Survey Monkey offer similar features. There are free survey platform alternatives; however, they have restrictions in functionality, including caps on the number of submissions.

How does it work?

How many licences can we have?

We will provide one licence per Healthwatch. However, we may be able to offer larger Healthwatch with additional accounts if required.

I’ve already got a SmartSurvey licence – is it possible to transfer this information onto the one funded by Healthwatch England?

Yes, you can have your existing account migrating ‘into’ the Healthwatch England account, meaning you won’t lose any current surveys or data.

How do you want us to use SmartSurvey?

In much the same way as you currently use any online data collection tool you do now. If you don’t currently use a data collection tool, you should find SmartSurvey very useful. 

Demographic question templates will also improve the consistency of the data we all collect. It will also make data-sharing with us easier. 

Can I import my existing surveys into the new account?

If you have an existing SmartSurvey account, yes. If you use another tool, we’d need to explore whether this was possible with our account manager at SmartSurvey.

Are we able to embed the survey on the website? Does this meet accessibility requirements?

Yes, you can embed surveys into a page, so the user doesn’t have to leave your website. You can also change the size of the survey, so it is still accessible even when embedded. 

You can create survey themes, so it has the Healthwatch branding. SmartSurvey also provides an ‘accessible’ theme you can use. 

Can we amend Healtwatch England surveys for our use? 

No, to collect consistent data and analyse the results at a national level, any surveys we create for campaigns or priority policy issues will be fixed. However, you will be able to clone our surveys, meaning you will be able to use our national surveys for a project you are running locally. 

Who’s responsible for responding to safeguarding concerns?

You will remain accountable for safeguarding issues, as you are now with current data collection methods.

Do we have the right to withdraw? And if so, how do we do it.

Yes. We hope you don’t, but if you do wish to withdraw once signing up for the service, just let us know at 

SmartSurvey and data sharing

Will Healthwatch England be able to access the data we collect at our Healthwatch? 

Yes, we have several admin accounts which we will use to:

  • Analyse the data you collect at a national level to understand trends and themes in people’s experiences of health and care. 
  • Provide template surveys so you can take part in our national campaigns. 
  • Record information for the Quality Framework.  

We will not however be using it to access local Healthwatch led surveys. 

Will the data leave SmartSurvey, or populate another system?

We are creating a ‘Central Data Store’ - a database that brings together all the information we collect. The aim of the Central Data Store is to make it easier to retrieve and analyse data from various sources. SmartSurvey will send data straight to the Central Data Store when fully developed.

Due to our access to data we will require each local Healthwatch to sign an Information Sharing Agreement.

Can I share surveys and data with other local Healthwatch?

Yes. It will be possible for you to collaborate with other local Healthwatch in your Integrated Care System region. SmartSurvey will make it easy for you to create joint surveys. 

How do I access data collected by Healthwatch England that is relevant to my local Healthwatch?

You’ll be able to do this via the Central Data Store once it is available to use in 2022. 

At the end of the pilot– what will happen to the data I have collected via SmartSurvey?

If the pilot goes well, your data will remain part of your ongoing account. In the unlikely case that we stop funding SmartSurvey after a year, you will be able to backup/export any collected data so that you don’t lose it. Alternatively, you will be able to retain your account and your existing surveys and data.

What support will Healthwatch England provide?

Will you be providing training and support?

Yes. We will arrange some initial training with the supplier and guidance documents and videos. We will also provide ongoing support, as we do with the Healthwatch website template and the CiviCRM.

What templates will there be?

You will get access to a ‘Question library’, a pre-built set of questions by the Research team at Healthwatch England. This will save you time by not creating commonly used questions yourself. 

How do I sign up? 

Complete this form on the network site to let us know you wish to have a licence. We’ll then be in touch.

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