Patients Association Weekly News
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Welcome to The Patients Association Weekly News
Junior Doctor Strikes 
Following another round of failed discussions with the British Medical Association, Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt MP announced that he would not re-enter negotiations over the imposed Junior Doctor contract. 
This prompted Junior Doctors to announce an unprecedented series of 5-day strikes which will leave many Trusts urgently trying to arrange for consultants to cover the Junior Doctor rotas. 

Learning of this news, Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of The Patients Association, said: “We are gravely troubled by the new round of strikes planned and the catastrophic impact this will have on so many patients and their families. We are approaching winter and it is well documented that the cold weather brings with it additional challenges to tackle poor health. Combine winter pressures with an already stretched NHS, alongside a series of extended strike action and it will almost certainly result in a NHS crisis. The Patients Association agree that 7-day service would be beneficial for patients, but it must be fully funded. To deliver such ambitious plans requires significant financial investment and robust work force planning.”
“Ultimately industrial action will cause great disruption to so many patients, including people who have been waiting a long time for appointments and operations. Many patients may be very unwell or vulnerable and so we cannot predict the distress or pain this will cause to everyone this will affect. Above all else, the Government and the BMA must appreciate they are in a privileged position: words seem to come easy and cost very little to them, but to the public it is costing them a great deal in lost working days, anxiety, pain and uncertainty.”
Katherine Murphy pressed: “I strongly urge the Department of Health to resume meaningful and sincere consultations and negotiations with the Junior Doctors, who are rightly concerned that new plans will risk patient safety.”
Take part in our survey
Have your say on developing the UK medical register
The UK list of registered medical practitioners is the unique national database of doctors registered and licensed to practice medicine in the UK. The medical register is intended to provide information about individual doctors practising in the UK.
The information can help users make decisions about who to trust with their care or who to employ or contract with. The GMC have a legal duty to include certain information in the published register, this includes a doctor’s name, registered qualifications, whether or not they hold a license to practice and the details of any GP or specialist register entry they may hold.
The GMC wants to improve the register so it provides more and better information and is easier to use.  To do this the GMC are seeking feedback on how the register can become more open, relevant and useful. We will be responding this consultation and will use your answers to inform the Patients Associations response.
The GMC believes the most effective way to develop the register is to create two separate tiers of information. One section would contain information that the GMC must provide by law for example name, qualification and license status. The second tier would contain information that a doctor has voluntarily offered for inclusion on the register. It could include for example scope of practice, languages spoken, declaration of competing professional interests and higher qualifications.
The benefits of Tier 2 data will enable the register to provide a much richer description of a doctor’s professional life than is currently possible. As the additional information would be provided voluntarily, there would be no obligation on those who do not wish to provide this sort of information. The disadvantage of this model is that, initially at least, not all doctors will wish to provide Tier 2 information for their register entry. There would, therefore, be some inconsistency in the information available for those using the register.
We want to hear your views on this so we can better represent your thoughts, experiences and suggestions.
We have created a quick and simple survey consisting of just 8 questions. To share your comments simply follow the button below.
Visit the GMC website to learn more about this
NICE are recruiting patients, service users, carers and advocates to develop an oral health promotion quality standard
NICE currently recruiting patients, service users, carers and advocates to develop an oral health promotion quality standard
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently recruiting patients in care homes and hospitals to help to develop a quality standard to improve oral health services.
NICE is looking for people to join its quality standards advisory committee to provide a patient perspective on oral health services to assist in driving forward service improvement.
“We really value the contribution that people who use health and social care services, their carers and advocates make to the work of NICE,” says Jess Fielding, Public Involvement Adviser.
NICE is particularly seeking people with personal experience of oral health promotion in care homes and hospitals, and their advocates and unpaid carers, to join a NICE committee as a lay member.
A ‘lay member’ is a member of a committee who has personal experience of using health or care services, or is from a community affected by the topic area. A lay member can also be someone with experience as an unpaid carer, an advocate, or a member or officer of a voluntary organisation.
Recruitment is open until 5pm on Tuesday 13 September 2016. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please follow the link below. Alternatively you can contact Jess Fielding Public Involvement Adviser at NICE on: 0161 219 3889 or via email at:
Learn more about this opportunity
We are seeking experienced health and social care professionals to volunteer in our helpline.
You may have had a career with the NHS, be a trained nurse or have experience of handling health and social care complaints or casework. If you, or someone you know, share these qualities and have time to spare to help some of the most vulnerable patients and families that need our help, then get in touch today. We really look forward to hearing from you. Please note, whilst we are based in London we will endeavour to make arrangements for you to volunteer remotely.
I can volunteer
We are also recruiting for a number of new roles with our organisation and are seeking enthusiastic and passionate individuals to join our small, but growing team. This is really exciting time to work for The Patients Association, so if you, or someone you know, shares our ambitions then visit our website to get started a new and exciting career with us.
View all career opportunities
Hospital accidents on the increase

The number of NHS patients injured in accidents caused by medical staff in UK hospitals rose to over 6,000 last year, according to Freedom of Information requests acquired by a tabloid newspaper.

The injuries obtained by patients include accidental cuts, punctures and haemorrhages. Many victims claimed compensation, which cost the taxpayer £1.48 billion in compensation payments.The total number of accidental injuries for 2015 was 6,082 – a 27 per cent increase on 2014.

The Patients Association is extremely concerned about the alarming rise and is calling for action from the Government and the Royal Colleges to address this issue.

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of The Patients Association, said: “With all the systems and procedures that are in place within the NHS, how are such basic, avoidable mistakes still happening?"

“It is a disgrace that such incidents are increasing. There is clearly a lack of learning across the NHS, or even within individual trusts."

 “We need action from the Government to ensure services are properly staffed and the Royal Colleges must ensure staff are provided with appropriate training to reduce the number of accidents within the NHS."

“At present, these patients are being very badly let down by poor processes and utter carelessness. This needs addressing and fast.”

About Us

The Patients Association’s motto is ‘Listening to Patients, Speaking up for Change’. This motto is the basis on which we build all our campaigns. Via our Helpline, we capture stories about Healthcare from over thousands of patients, family members and carers every year. We use this knowledge to campaign for real improvements to health and social care services across the UK.
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