Welcome to the Patients Association Weekly News
Complete our 2019 membership survey
The Patients Association has this week launched its 2019 membership survey, and we are inviting members to share their views.

As valued members, your opinions are of the utmost importance to us at the Patients Association. We know that patients are best placed to understand what is currently happening on the frontline of the NHS, and that it should therefore be patients who are at the forefront of shaping its future.

We want to know how satisfied you are with how the NHS currently runs, and we want to learn more about the health and social care issues that matter the most to you. We also want to know how we can better represent you, and to find out more about your membership preferences.

This is your opportunity to share your opinions and ideas about how we can continue to strengthen the Patients Association and improve the value of our membership, so please do complete the short survey here. The information you provide will help us better understand patients' concerns and will enable us to build on our work towards improving patient experience. All responses will be completely private and confidential.

Please note: as this newsletter is available to everyone, including members and non-members of the Patients Association, we would like to encourage those who may not have already signed up to join the Patients Association as a member today.
Not sure if you’re an existing member of the Patients Association? If you have not previously completed our membership application form, it’s unlikely you’re an existing member, and you therefore won’t be receiving the additional benefits of membership including our quarterly members’ newsletter and information about events, including our Annual General Meeting. Don’t worry, though – you can still complete our survey and share your thoughts – we’d like to hear from everyone about how the NHS can improve. However, in order to have your views published as part of our results you need to be an existing member. It’s entirely free to join and takes just a few minutes to complete the form.

If you’re not sure whether you’re currently a member and would like us to check our records, email 

If you have any questions about the survey, email Shivani Shah, Head of Programmes and Community & Patient Engagement Manager on
Complete the survey
NHS hospitals increasingly charging disabled patients to park
NHS hospitals are increasingly forcing patients with disabilities to pay for parking, an investigation this week has revealed. A total of 155 hospitals are now charging disabled badge holders to park – up by a fifth since 2014. Disability campaigners said the changes were could mean that some of the most vulnerable people in society could end up losing access to care because they could no longer afford it.

In comments featuring in the Daily Mail and Telegraph (£), Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said:

“Patients who have disabilities have traditionally had access to free spaces at many hospitals, so we are very concerned to see more and more hospitals withdrawing these spaces. Anyone calling for changes to hospital parking charges needs to reckon with the fact that they bring in funding for hospitals at a time when money is tight. We’d like to see a full funding settlement for the NHS that enables all charges to be scrapped.

“What we would really like to know is what alternative measures for disabled people these hospitals are putting in place? Disabled people are more likely to find it hard to use public transport options to get to hospital, so these charges could hit them particularly badly.”
Read more
Help shape our new programme of work
Have you completed our latest policy survey to help us define our future work?
We want to know about your experience of being a patient – this includes your thoughts on the care that you, or someone close to you, has recently experienced, and anything else that has mattered to you while you (or they) have needed care.

This is a preliminary survey to help us define the scope of our future work, so we’re not looking for as big a sample as normal. We’ll be closing the survey once we’ve reached 100 responses, so if you’d like to contribute click here and complete the survey today. If you miss out, don’t worry – there will be a longer, in-depth survey later this summer, which we will develop using these initial answers.

By completing the survey, you’ll inform our future campaigning work and play a role in our work to improve things for patients. The survey asks you to think about a period when you needed health or social care, either currently or in the past, so please only begin the questionnaire if you are happy to think about those experiences.
If you have any questions about this piece of work or would like more information, email
Take part
Patients who have received private care: attend our focus group in London on 29 July
Have you opted for private treatment over NHS care in the past? Has your treatment been funded by an employer through medical insurance as part of a benefits package?  Attend our focus group with the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) in London on 29 July and help us develop a new resource for patients receiving private treatment.

IHPN is the representative body for private sector healthcare providers and they are working with us to provide relevant and appropriate information for patients receiving private treatment. The new resource will be designed to give patients the information they need to make informed decisions about their treatment – from the decision to proceed with receiving private care through to the end of the patient journey when treatment is no longer required.

We’ll be hosting a focus group in central London on Monday 29 July with patients who have undergone private treatment and would like to invite you to join us. If you have recently had care privately or know someone who has, please get in touch by emailing Abdullah Mahmood at abdullah.mahmood Whether your experience was very good or one that could have been improved, we would like to hear from you. Refreshments will be available on the day and reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. We are also offering a high street voucher to participants for giving their time.

For more information, email or call 020 8423 9111.
Read more
Knee problems? Join us to create new guidance to inform and empower patients 
We’ve partnered with Oxford University to produce new patient information about the recommended treatment options for meniscal problems of the knee, and we’d like to hear from you if you currently have knee problems and are considering surgery, are waiting for a procedure or have recently had an operation.

We want to recruit a diverse group of patients to pilot a new approach to creating guidance that will inform and empower patients. Structured clinical guidance is central to the delivery of care in the NHS, and it is crucial that this guidance is developed with meaningful involvement from patients and the latest, best quality evidence.

As well as working with Oxford University, the project is also supported by the NHS Getting It Right First Time programme and the British Association for Surgery of the Knee. Participants will need to be able to attend a meeting in Oxford on Friday 6 September from 10.30am to 3pm. Travel expenses will be reimbursed. If you are interested in taking part please contact Heather Eardley on
Express an interest
Patient representative sought by royal college
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is recruiting new members to their Patient and Carer Network (PCN). This is an exciting opportunity to join one of the oldest and most prestigious medical royal colleges, and to influence care for patients.

A network of volunteers in England and Wales who support and shape the RCP’s work and priorities, the PCN aims to improve care for patients and influence the future of health and healthcare. It exists to support the RCP to listen to what patients and carers need from doctors and the health service, and aims to champion person-centred care and patient safety by influencing the way that healthcare is designed and delivered. Examples of how the PCN has worked to achieve these aims are highlighted in the PCN Impact Report 2017, which provides more detail on the range of projects and activities PCN members have been involved in. 

To apply for this role, download the application form on the RCP website. Applications close on 31 July. 
Read more
Public consultation: Transparency and openness in health and social care research
The NHS Health Research Authority (HRA) is inviting patients and the public to share their views on the transparency of health and social care research. The HRA is the lead organisation for transparency in health research, reviewing around 5,000 health and social care research studies each year before they begin. You can take a look at its plans for realising research transparency, and have your say here.
Share your health and social care experiences with us
Have you found recent consultations with your doctor helpful? Whether your experience has been positive or one that could have been better, we’d like to hear more and see what we can do to help.

Our partnership with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) means when you call our helpline or email us, it makes a real difference. To get in touch with our helpline team and share your thoughts of using GP services, call 020 8423 8999, email or visit our website.
Contact our helpline
What our team is reading this week
Councils in country have far less to spend on elderly than those in cities
Child mental health unit referrals 'up nearly 50%'
Skin cancer rates have soared by 45 per cent in a decade as legacy of package holidays hits
Obesity and old age blamed as organ transplants fall despite record number of donors
Music 'just as effective' as drugs for calming nerves before surgery

About us

Our vision is that health and social care will be delivered in a way that meets every person’s health and social care needs.

Our mission is to give effect to the patient voice, to improve patient experience and support people to engage fully in their own care. Find out more about our values on our website

Copyright © 2019 The Patients Association, All rights reserved.

Our full privacy policy is available on our website.
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

The Patients Association is a registered charity in England and Wales (1006733).  A company limited by guarantee.  Registered company in England and Wales (02620761)
Registered address:  P Block, Northwick Park Hospital, The North West Hospitals NHS Trust, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3YJ