Welcome to the Patients Association Weekly News
New 15-member coalition calls for social care settlement
A new coalition of 15 health organisations representing the breadth of the NHS have joined forces to make the case for a sustainable, long-term settlement for social care. The Patients Association is a member of the coalition, called Health for Care, which was launched last week with an open letter to the Prime Minister informing her that social care is “on the brink of collapse”, and that more than one million older people are being denied help with basic tasks.

At the heart of the coalition is the desire for a sustainable solution to how we pay for and provide care and support to people in England. Up to 58 per cent of people over 60 are living with at least one long-term condition, and the numbers of people with multiple conditions is rising by eight per cent each year. The Health for Care coalition is concerned with supporting an ageing population with increasingly complex needs.

The coalition has developed a set of principles upon which it believes a sustainable social care system should be based. The Patients Association supports these principles, and we hope they will be a useful contribution to the debate ahead of the forthcoming publication of the adult social care Green Paper.

You can find out more about the Health for Care coalition here.
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Opportunities to have your say
NICE committee to develop antimicrobial prescribing guidelines
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is recruiting expert lay members to help develop antimicrobial prescribing guidelines.
NICE is looking for individuals with experience of: People who have an understanding or experience of either of these two topics are invited to apply. This understanding could have been gained through personal experience, as a relative or carer of someone who has used health services, or as a volunteer or employee of a relevant voluntary organisation or support group.
The time commitment for each role is around seven months.

More information can be found here.

Share your views: help deliver the NHS Long Term Plan
The NHS is inviting patients, the public, NHS staff and partner organisations to provide their views on potential proposals for changing current legislation relating to the NHS.

The call for people to share their views follows a meeting between leaders of NHS England and NHS Improvement, where both organisations agreed a series of new measures to ’improve collaboration‘ across the health service, including a request from the two bodies for permission to merge. The two bodies believe that targeted amendments to the law could help local and national health organisations work together more effectively to improve services for patients.

You can give your views directly to NHS England about its proposals by completing this online questionnaire. The survey closes on 25 April.
The Patients Association will also be submitting a full formal response. If you’d like to share your views now, please email We will be publishing an initial reaction within the next few weeks and inviting further views before we finalised our response.

Share your views: National Data Guardian
Patients and members of the public are invited to share their views on the key priorities for the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care (NDG), as the role moves to a new phase. In December 2018 Parliament passed a law to place the role of the NDG on a statutory footing. This law gives the NDG the ability to issue guidance about the processing of health and adult social care data.

Your views will help the Government decide what the key priorities should be for the NDG. You find out more about the consultation and submit your response here. The deadline for responses is 22 March.

Waiting times survey - thank you for sharing your views
Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent survey on NHS waiting times targets. We are now analysing the results and will update members with our findings via this newsletter, and on our website, in due course.
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ISCAS: the complaints adjudication service for independent healthcare
The Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS) is the adjudication scheme for complaints in private healthcare. It provides the services of an independent adjudicator for patients who have been treated in subscribing organisations and remain dissatisfied with how their complaints have been handled by the healthcare provider.

ISCAS is one of the Patients Association’s supporters, and we are working together on a number of initiatives to ensure that patients treated privately, whether through insurance, a workplace scheme or self-funded, have access to an effective independent review stage to complaints. The Patients Association has endorsed ISCAS’s Patient’s guide, which outlines how patients can make a complaint about a private healthcare provider, and encourages people to consider what they want to achieve as an outcome to their complaint.  The guide takes patients through a three-stage process, as outlined below, and describes each step and the timelines.

Other resources on the ISCAS website that people may find useful include a subscriber directory where patients can check whether the private healthcare provider or NHS private patient unit is subscribed to ISCAS.

You can find information on ISCAS and its complaints process here. More information on private healthcare can be found on our website here.
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From the helpline: entitlement to free NHS care
This week we heard from Mark*, who got in touch to request information about his son and daughter-in-law’s entitlement to NHS care. Mark’s son, who had lived in the United States for over 10 years, was planning to return on a permanent basis to the UK with his pregnant wife, and Mark was seeking information about his daughter-in-law's entitlement to NHS pre-natal and maternity care. Mark also wanted to ascertain whether his son would be entitled to free NHS care.

Our helpline adviser explained that hospital treatment is free to people classed as ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK. To be considered ordinarily resident and entitled to free hospital treatment, people must be living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being. Our adviser explained to Mark that although his family members plan to settle in the UK, they would not be entitled to free NHS care except emergency care, until they became 'ordinarily resident'. We signposted Mark to the NHS UK website to find out more, and recommended he contact NHS England for further advice and information on how to establish his family as ordinarily residents.

If you need health or care advice, call 0208 423 8999 between 9.30 and 5pm on weekdays, or email

*Name has been changed.
Contact our helpline
What our team is reading this week
High blood pressure drugs to be offered to thousands more
Satisfaction with NHS 'hits 11-year low'
Type-2 diabetes: 'Weight loss arrests disease for years'
How fast is the ambulance service where you live?
Cervical smear campaign launched as 'Jade Goody effect' wears off

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