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From a clinical audit of the treatment given to 1005 patients suffering from ankle fractures, 507 patients of 626 taken randomly from 15 hospitals were contacted and asked to complete a questionnaire describing and evaluating their experiences. The design of the study aimed in a number of ways to reduce respondents' tendency towards a positive response in completing satisfaction scales. The very high response rate, commentaries and variations in opinions about specific service criteria indicate that the results have a high degree of validity. The generally high rates of satisfaction reported here reflect very well on existing NHS provision for a specific procedure, with the exception of certain hospitals' arrangements for waiting, and the provision of certain types of information. Against general indicators of satisfaction with the management of pain relief in hospitals, that in ankle fracture treatments appears to be exceptionally high. However, it would be valuable to discover why younger patients appear to be strikingly more critical than older patients across the entire range of issues. The inquiry aims to compare findings with studies of other orthopaedic services using a similar elementary methodology as a routine component of clinical audit.