Welcome to the Patients Association Weekly News
Working in partnership to empower patients
In addition to the support we provide to people who contact our helpline, and our policy and campaigning work to represent patients at a national level, we pride ourselves on working in collaboration with other charities, companies, NHS trusts and patient groups. This work is directly linked to our overarching mission: to give effect to the patient voice, to improve patient experience and to support people to engage fully in their own care.

We are currently working on projects across the country on a range of topics, from improving complaints handling and developing patient participation groups to using digital technology.

Earlier this month we delivered a complaints training session at North Middlesex University Hospital about how to put patients at the heart of complaints resolution. Our team discussed techniques for conducting a thorough and fair complaints investigation, and underlined the importance of communicating with patients clearly throughout the process. We found staff to be engaged, receptive to our ideas and committed to improving patient experience, and we’re looking forward to our follow-up session at the hospital after the Easter break on Wednesday 24 April.

If you would like to know more about our project work you can visit our website or email
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Patient representative sought for new initiative
The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), the body responsible for the specialty of anaesthesia in the UK, is inviting applications for a patient representative to join the Board of the Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC). CPOC is a new initiative that brings together specialists from different medical backgrounds to improve patient safety. It aims to facilitate closer and more effective cross-organisational working through a multi-disciplinary team approach.

The RCoA is seeking an enthusiastic and committed individual to represent the patient voice on the CPOC Board.  The ideal candidate will be someone who is familiar with the wider healthcare landscape and can demonstrate collaborative engagement with colleagues or stakeholders at board level. The patient representative will ideally join the Board in July 2019 with participation in quarterly board meetings and ad hoc projects.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 5 May 2019. More information on the role can be found here.

Survey: Personal Health Budgets
NHS England is inviting views about people’s experiences of personal health budgets (PHBs) and integrated personal budgets. A PHB means the patient is given an allocation of funding for their care, which they then decide how to spend. The money can be paid to the patient directly, or spent by the NHS and only held by the patient as a ‘virtual’ budget. The money can only be spent on care in line with the person’s care plan.

The survey, which should take around 30 minutes to complete, is open to all current or previous budget holders and those who support them. The findings will be used to improve the support for budget holders and applicants in England. Complete the survey by 14 May.
More information
Emergency care over the Easter weekend
If you or a family member needs non-urgent medical advice this Easter, you can visit your local pharmacist, call NHS 111 or visit NHS 111 online. The NHS 111 telephone line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s completely free of charge to call to help you choose the right care.

Our office and helpline will be closed over the Easter break, and will reopen on Tuesday 23 April.
NHS 111 online
From the helpline: entitlement to NHS care
This week we heard from Steven*, who got in touch to request information about his entitlement to NHS care. Steven, who had been working abroad for the last four years, had recently returned on a permanent basis to the UK and registered with a new GP surgery. He was told by his GP that he would not be entitled to free treatment on the NHS, and contacted our helpline to find out more.

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 Steven that although he and his family members have now returned to live in the UK, they would not be entitled to free NHS care except emergency care, until they became 'ordinarily resident'. We signposted Steven 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 resident.

We asked Steven to keep us updated with developments and to get in touch if he required any more information.

Our helpline will be closed over the Easter break and will reopen on Tuesday 23 April. 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
Breech baby scan 'would save lives'
‘Will the NHS long term plan give the community services sector the national focus it deserves?’
Technology to keep dementia patients out of hospital
Hospital patients' hands are covered in antibiotic resistant superbugs, study suggests
Statins 'don't work well for one in two people'

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

Copyright © 2019 The Patients Association, All rights reserved.

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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