Welcome to the Patients Association Weekly News
Majority of MPs believe social care crisis is making people suffer
Over three quarters of MPs including most Conservatives (58 per cent) agree there is a social care crisis, with the majority believing people in their constituencies are now suffering because of care cuts.

The findings were revealed by a representative poll of MPs, most of whom (65 per cent) agreed that the number of people in their constituencies coming to them with concerns about social care had increased during their time in office.

The poll was commissioned by the NHS Confederation, which leads Health for Care - a coalition of 15 organisations including the Patients Association that advocates for a long-term settlement for social care.

Politicians were split on what the solution for social care should be, according to the poll's findings. Some 21 per cent wished to introduce free personal care, 20 per cent wanted an auto-enrolment insurance system, 19 per cent favour a cap on social care costs and 18 per cent want to improve the current system.

Health for Care is running an online petition calling on the Prime Minister to secure long term funding to deliver the care people need – suggesting this should be a minimum increase of 3.9 per cent in spending a year. You can join the 125,000 people who have already signed the petition here,  and read more about the poll of MPs here.
Read more
Meet the team: Introducing Shivani Shah, our new Head of Programmes 
As our annual review shows, our collaborative work with NHS trusts, companies and patient groups to improve care has grown over the past 12 months. We undertook 27 engagement and improvement projects in 2018, engaging with hundreds of patients, carers, and health and care professionals, and we’re pleased to announce that Shivani Shah has this week joined the team. Shivani joins us in two distinct roles – as our Head of Programmes, and also as our Community and Patient Engagement Manager. We had been recruiting for both part-time roles separately in recent months but Shivani’s breadth of experience and expertise has enabled us to appoint her to both. Congratulations Shivani!

Here’s a message from Shivani to our members:

“I’m delighted to join the Patients Association team in this new dual role as Head of Programmes and Community and Patient Engagement Manager. It’s an exciting time to join, and I’m passionate about hearing from patients and ensuring that their views and concerns are heard and acted on.

“As Head of Programmes, I’ll be developing our project offer and exploring how our resources, such as our PPG toolkit and our complaints handling training, can make a greater impact. I’ll also be raising awareness about the Patients Association’s work, helpline and advice services with people who may not know about us The Community and Patient Engagement Manager position will see me getting out and about, meeting with patients and community groups across the country. I’ll be developing a new volunteer engagement strategy for people who want to take action and make a difference, and exploring how we can run more local events and workshops, so watch this space!

“Having spent a few days with the team learning more about the important work of the Patients Association and its role to shape care services, I’m even more excited to get settled and to start making a contribution to make a difference. If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to email me on
Our staff team
Women's Rights in Healthcare Event
Yesterday we attended an informative and thought-provoking event on women’s rights in healthcare, hosted by our helpline sponsors, Leigh Day. The event highlighted the issues affecting access to and delivery of healthcare for women that urgently need to be raised and given further attention, including sometimes sensitive topics such as female genital mutilation, IVF, and access to caesarean birth.
With notable speakers including Nadine Montgomery, Baroness Uddin and Baroness Barker, it was a fascinating afternoon that emphasised the progress that still needs to be made. You can catch up on the highlights by reading back through the #WRH2019 event hashtag.
Opportunities to have your say
Survey: Tell us about your experiences of unsafe, premature discharge
Have you completed our latest survey on unsafe discharge from hospital? It’s only going to be open for a couple more weeks, so have your say soon. We want to hear about times when someone has been discharged from hospital despite not being well enough to leave. If the person suffered harm as a result of this, or was at a real risk of harm, it was an unsafe discharge.
Too little research has been done on discharges that simply happened too early, even though we hear about this from callers to our helpline. If you think your experience, or the experience of someone close to you, matches this description of an unsafe, premature discharge, please share your experiences with us in this short survey.  

We will be issuing a report based on what people tell us. The survey should take around seven minutes to complete. Share your views here.

NICE recruiting for lay members to join its Indicators Advisory Committee
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are inviting people to join their Indicators Advisory Committee (IAC) as lay members to help drive quality improvement across health and social care. They are looking for people who can help make sure the experiences of patients, carers and service users are included in the development of NICE indicators. This may include:
  • identifying major concerns of patients, carers and service users to inform committee discussions
  • making sure that the views of patients, carers and service users are taken into account when the committee recommends indicators
  • checking that patient/public evidence and equality issues are reflected in documents and guidance produced.
 The standing lay member of this committee will play a key role in making sure that the views, experiences and interests of the public are included in the committee’s decision-making. Find out more about the vacancy and apply by Friday 21 June here.

Last week to vote in the Patient’s Choice Awards
Voting is open to choose the winner of one of nursing’s most prestigious accolades: the Patient’s Choice category of the RCNi Nurse Awards. The award, which is supported by the Patients Association, enables members of the public to thank a nurse, midwife, health visitor, healthcare assistant or assistant practitioner who has provided exceptional care. Voting is open to everyone. Voting closes on 14 June so share your views today.

Five inspirational nurses have been chosen as finalists this year from scores of nominations by patients. Those who nominated the finalists include a young woman diagnosed with cancer while at university and a teenager whose mental health worker has supported her towards recovery.
Have your say
Share your health and social care experiences
Our helpline covers all of health and social care, and we would like to hear your experiences in the NHS and social care systems. 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 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, call 020 8423 8999 on weekdays between 9.30am and 5pm, or email You can also visit our website to find out more about our helpline, and visit our advice and information leaflets here.
Contact our helpline
Dietitians Week 2019
In celebration of Dietitians Week, a campaign to raise awareness about the work of dietitians and how they help support patients, we have been re-sharing the Patients Association Nutrition Checklist on social media this week.

The checklist helps patients and staff working in health and social care identify the potential risk of undernutrition in adults. Published in December 2018, the checklist aims to address the rising problems of undernutrition in older people, and could potentially improve the day-to-day lives and experiences of thousands of over-65s across the country.  You can download and share the checklist here.
Our Nutrition Checklist
What our team is reading this week
Inquiry into Liverpool Community Health failures expected
‘Could the NHS be the price of a US trade deal?’
NHS drive for diversity in key roles ‘going backwards’
Spinning and yoga classes should be introduced by employers during lunchtime, NICE says
Hi-tech gadget will be used to relieve severe headaches under raft of new NHS treatments

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