This week in the Patients Association Weekly News:
  • Patients Over Politics: keeping the pressure up
  • A personal message from Rachel Power
  • Raise funds while you do your Christmas shopping
  • Take part in the theatre cap challenge
  • NICE needs you!
  • News from the helpline 
Patients Over Politics: three weeks to go!

It’s less than three weeks to polling day, but we still have time to have our say and call to politicians to put Patients Over Politics

Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far.  As you know there are loads of ways to get involved in our campaign and you can find all the details on our dedicated website so please take another look and see if there’s something else you can do. 

Get involved
Let's keep the pressure on

In these last few weeks we really need to keep piling on the pressure and make a final push to get our message out there. There two top ways we can do this. 

Take part in our survey

The more opinions we get, the louder our voice so, if you haven’t already done so, please take a couple of minutes to fill this out now. It tells us how confident you are that politicians will take the right decisions about important heath and care issues, and we’ll publish the results towards the end of the campaign. 

Take the survey
Print a poster and spread the word 

We would love to see as many posters displayed as possible. And it’s so easy to take part.  You can either order a large, professionally printed poster from our online shop, download one to print at home, or ask us to send you an A3 version free of charge. Just email us at and remember to include your postal address. 

Then display them wherever you can. In your window at home, in your workplace, or anywhere that the message will be seen.   

Campaign in action  

Please don’t forget to send us your photos and videos of whatever it is you’ve been doing – it will help us spread the word and call for action from others.  Thank you. 

The Manifestos

Most of the parties that are standing across the UK as a whole have now issued their manifestos. Health and care are high on the agenda for all parties, so we have pulled out all the relevant pledges from the manifestos and put them on a single webpage for each. 

As well as our comprehensive run-downs of each party’s pledges, we are including links to easy-read versions where the parties have published them. The manifestos section of the website will feature digests of the manifestos from all major UK-wide parties when they are published. We hope you find it useful. 

A personal message from Rachel Power

As 2019 starts to draw to a close, I’m taking stock of all the things the Patients Association has achieved this year. I am so proud of everything this small team has accomplished: growing our membership, representing patients in countless government consultations on health and social care, supporting and advising thousands of callers to our helpline, launching the Care Home Charter and so much more.   

But we are still a very small team. You probably don’t realise how small, because we’re always inviting you to get involved with our latest projects and campaigns, but in fact we have just eight full-time members of staff.    

Being a small team doesn’t stop us having big goals! We are passionate about representing you, improving services and patient experiences, and advising even more callers.    

For us to sustain and grow this level of work and to increase our awareness and influence, we really need your help.    

If you could spare the cost of a cup of coffee each week and make a regular monthly donation of £10, it would really help.  

We want to make a difference to even more people, which is why membership and calls to our helpline are both free.   

Your donations – big or small – will really help us to help even more patients across the UK.  

Your help and support are always appreciated, so thank you in advance, and watch this space – there’s so much more to come from the Patients Association.   

Please donate
Christmas shopping can help raise funds

Did you know that every time you shop online you could be raising money for us? We’ve teamed up with Give as you Live who turn a percentage of your spending into a donation for us - without costing you a penny!   

So, when you’re doing your online Christmas shopping this year, please give us a thought and consider taking a couple of minutes to sign-up.  You can choose from over 4,300 stores, including Amazon, M&S, Argos, Boots, Debenhams and John Lewis. 

Happy shopping!
Theatre cap challenge

Some of our friends at the NHS recently launched an initiative to help them understand how patients' experiences before, during and after an operation, can be improved simply by what the healthcare staff are wearing.  

They are suggesting that all staff wear a theatre hat displaying their name and role to inform patients of who is involved in their care and what they do. 

We had a good response to this survey when we first introduced it in October but, as always, the more of you we hear from, the better the feedback we can provide. 

This is a great idea and could quite easily make a huge difference so please take a couple of minutes to fill out the survey.  Thank you.  

Take the survey
NICE needs you!

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) needs people to join a quality standards advisory committee to develop and update a range of their quality standards. 

NICE produces valuable guidance on the most effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease and ill health, and provide social care support. Their work is based on research evidence and takes into account the views of people working in or using relevant services and other stakeholder groups. 

If this is something that interests you, your input would be much appreciated. Applications are welcome up to 5pm on Wednesday 11 December.

Contact NICE
From the helpline  

James* from Northern Ireland called our helpline to ask advice on how to make a complaint about the care his grandmother was receiving in her care home. 

On being diagnosed with dementia three months ago, she was admitted to the care home and put on a variety of new medication.  Unfortunately, the impact of this has left James’ grandmother unable to do many of the routine daily tasks she was able to do before and she is now confined to her bed and largely unable to communicate with anyone.  Whenever any visitors see her, she is either asleep or very drowsy. 

Our response was to advise James that, in the first place, he should raise his concerns directly with the care home. If he did not get a satisfactory response then he could send an official complaint to the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, who inspect care homes in NI and are always interested to hear about the quality of care received by residents. 

We also suggested James read our advice leaflet on ‘How to make a complaint’ which is available on our website. 

We then asked James to keep in touch and contact us again if he needed any further help. 

*name changed for privacy 

To get in touch with our helpline team and share your thoughts of health and care services, call 0800 345 7115, 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. 

How to make a complaint leaflet
Contact our helpline
What our team is reading this week
Doctors may face suspension over NHS 'worst maternity scandal'
Doctors’ workloads impacting patient care, report finds
Why winter is good for your health
Global epidemic of child inactivity
9 in 10 NHS Bosses say the staffing crisis is endangering patients

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