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Welcome to Weekly News from the
Patients Association
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Care Quality Commission ‘State of Care’ report highlights struggles to access care
This latest ‘State of Care’ report from the Care Quality Commission was published this week, and contains some stark findings about the number of patients struggling to access the care that they require.
 
The Patients Association responded by saying: “Patients should never have to fight to receive the care that they need and deserve, yet time and time again this is the story we hear.

“Insufficient staffing, leading to services that are stretched too thinly, is having real-life consequences for patients, especially those with complex needs and mental health issues.

“People with mental health issues, learning disabilities or autism deserve better than to be seen by people lacking the skills, training and experience to properly care for them. Too often their care is compromised in this way. 

With pressures on A&E already reaching winter-time levels in July, a sustained cold weather or a bad flu season could see the NHS facing the worst winter in modern times. The Patients Association believes it is fundamental that steps are taken to address this crisis of funding and workforce.


The Patients Association partners with the CQC and we regularly refer helpline callers to them to ensure that their experiences are being heard.
 
You can read a summary of the report, an easy-read explanation of the main findings or download the full 107 page report.
Rebuild our NHS
The Patients Association has added its support to the Rebuild Our NHS campaign, which is making the case for a fully-funded and well-designed system of capital investment for the NHS. Without this, hospitals and other NHS providers will continue to struggle to provide services in appropriate facilities, and using up-to-date equipment. 

The NHS's maintenance backlog is growing, and incidents where patient care is interrupted due to problems with facilities or equipment is rising. We believe that patients should be able to expect to receive care in buildings that are in a decent state of repair and offer a pleasant environment. Their care must not be compromised by facilities that are unsuitable for the type of treatment needed, or that compromise patients’ dignity and privacy. The NHS must be equipped to meet people’s most basic needs in this way, when they are unwell and feel vulnerable.

Image adapted from a photo by Oosoom on Wikimedia Commons, under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 and available for reuse under the same.
Patients Association in the news  
Our Chair, Lucy Watson, has commented on the number of times people are being put in mixed-sex wards, despite the practice having been due to for abolition. Some hospital trusts have a much higher number of breaches than others – and each breach can result in a fine of up to £250 for the hospital. Several local newspapers including the Bournemouth Echo, the Oxford Mail, Newham Reporter and Barking and Dagenham Post have reported the story and included our comments.
Listen up! PHSO podcast ‘Radio Ombudsman’ interviews Rachel Power  
What's the best way of ensuring that patients’ voices are heard and acted upon by those in power in the NHS? Moving to a just culture is key, says Rachel Power. You can list to the full podcast here: http://ow.ly/XuNV50wKM8e.
Outcomes-based health and care  
Rachel Power spoke at The King’s Fund on Wednesday about moving to a healthcare system that focuses more on the outcomes that matter to patients.
 
Addressing the question of how to keep patient front and centre, Rachel argued that the value of outcomes should be assessed on the basis of the value that patients attach to them, not narrow technical measures driven purely by clinicians. She also outlined how many important outcomes rely on policy areas outside health, and that a joined-up approach across government is essential to managing health and wellbeing across the population.
Our helpline is central to our overall mission, and we hear from thousands of people needing support and guidance each year. We offer reliable, practical support and trustworthy information to help patients make sense of the complex health and social care system. We work to ensure that people understand their rights as a patient, carer or family member, and 96% of callers would recommend our helpline to their friends and family. 

Whether your experience has been positive or one that could have been better, we’d like to hear from you to 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 health and care services, call 020 8423 8999, email helpline@patients-association.com 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
Government urged to overhaul housing, transport and education policies to secure a healthy society
'Mumps' outbreak among south Wales university students
Genetic tests: experts urge caution over home testing
NHS screening 'needs to fit with busy lives'
‘Food swamps’ growing barrier to healthy eating for UK children – Unicef

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