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Patients Association
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Help us to help more patients: information leaflets survey
Do you have a few minutes to let us know what you think of our information leaflets?
We make our information leaflets available for free on our website, and our helpline team often use them to provide detailed information to people who call and email us. We are reviewing our existing leaflets, and planning to add new ones to our range. To do this, we need to hear from people who have used them, and also to get first impressions from people who haven’t seen them before.
It will therefore really help us if you can complete this short survey. It will take about five minutes, and we ask you to read one of our shortest leaflets, on preparing for a GP appointment, first. If you have a little more time, it also includes questions on our leaflet on adult social care, which is a slightly longer one.
Thank you for your help!
Take the survey
New framework for medical governance in the independent sector
Quality and patient safety in the independent healthcare sector are to be boosted by a new framework for medical governance.
The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), which represents independent healthcare providers delivering both NHS and privately funded care, asked former national NHS National Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh to develop an improved system for governance in independent healthcare.
The resulting Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework, launched this week, sets out standards for practice in areas including patient safety, clinical quality, the appraisal of clinicians, and responding to concerns from staff and patients.   So far over 28 independent providers, representing over 200 individual sites, have signed up to implementing the framework, and the CQC has committed to considering its principles as evidence when they assess how well run a service is.
Rachel Power, CEO of the Patients Association said: “We believe any effort to improve patient care must seek to incorporate an understanding of patients’ experiences. It was a privilege to be invited to represent the patient voice during the development of this framework, and we hope that the ‘patient-friendly’ resource that was produced alongside it will help to empower patients to fully engage with their care. We encourage all independent health providers to implement the framework and commit to delivering excellent care to all patients.”
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Get involved: new NICE guideline 
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is developing a guideline on social work for adults with complex needs.
They are seeking a lay member to sit on the committee that will develop the guideline. The role will last for a year and a half.
If you have complex needs and have been assessed and supported by a social worker, or if you have cared for someone who has, then you could be the person NICE is looking for.
The role will involve attending meetings, reading papers and commenting on papers between meetings. The lay member will have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the new guideline, which will guide social care in this area for years to come.
If you are interested, click below for more information and to apply.
Find out more
Have your say: Theatre Cap Challenge  
When a patient arrives in hospital for their operation or another procedure, they are often greeted by healthcare staff who are dressed in theatre clothing, known as 'scrubs', or they may be wearing other similar clothing.
When more than two members of healthcare staff are wearing scrubs, it can be difficult for patients to know who they are speaking to, and what role each person will play in their care.
A new initiative called the 'Theatre Cap Challenge' has been gaining popularity among some healthcare staff recently in a bid to improve patients' experience before, during and after an operation. The concept is simple: staff wear a theatre hat displaying their name and their role in your care.
A group of healthcare professionals who are trialling this initiative in various hospitals are seeking the views of patients, carers and members of the public.
If you would like to share your thoughts, please click below to take the short survey. The results will be shared with the Patients Association, and also made publicly available. Individual responses will remain confidential.
Take the survey
From the helpline  
We took a call from Azim*, who had two points of complaint about his GP. The first was that the GP puts notes in his records to say that he has carried out tests or examinations, when in fact he has not. The second was that Azim, who is Muslim, had requested a prescription for vegan medication, which is therefore halal. Azim’s pharmacist had told him this would be available, but his GP has refused to provide the prescription.
Fortunately we were able to advise Azim of a range of options and next steps. We gave him contact details for his CCG, to ask them about making vegan medicine available, and also to NHS England, to make a complaint. We also suggested that he share his experience with the Care Quality Commission, who can take inspection and enforcement action based on what they hear from patients.
*Name has been changed.

To get in touch with our helpline team and share your thoughts of health and care services, call 020 8423 8999, email or visit our website. We also operate a Live Chat function on weekdays between 2 - 5pm for people who wish to receive advice online. 
What our team is reading this week
How We're Affected When The Clocks Change
Health and hard Brexit: the impact of the new deal
MMR vaccine could be offered in supermarkets
NHS in Scotland could face £1.8bn 'shortfall' without reform, says watchdog
LGBT healthcare inequalities 'deep', says report

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

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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