The Patients Association has been providing patients and the public with advice relating to their experience of healthcare for over 53 years. The Helpline assists with over 5,000 enquires a year through telephone, email and letter. The Helpline forms an essential part of the campaigning work of the charity; it-informs our work and ensures we have a true and comprehensive understanding of issues facing patients.

The Helpline will answer any enquiry about your healthcare, although we do not give clinical or legal advice. You may want to know if you could get a second opinion on your condition, or how to change your GP, dentist or if you can get your care from a different hospital. You may want to know how to make a complaint, or whether we have encountered a specific problem before. You may want to know how to tell the hospital how good their care is, or need to find out what is written in your medical records. Whatever your query, we will try to help you in every way we can.

We welcome any member of the public or healthcare practitioner getting in touch with one of our team. But often people come to us when they really don’t know what else to do.  In some cases, where we have the resources, we will work on your case with you.  The sort of cases we will undertake are:

  • Cases where you are unable to complain yourself about a situation, due to inability either through illness or disability.  In these situations, we will talk to you and compose a letter on your behalf.
  • Cases relating to the Parliamentary Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO) which are generally long and involve large amounts of documentation, and where you are unable to deal with this without expert help.
  • Cases which involve death, severe injury, malpractice, failure to diagnose etc. which have failed to be satisfactorily resolved by the local organisation’s complaints procedure.  These may require work to understand the case, and then advise on whether to go to PHSO or if further dealings with the trust /organisation are appropriate first.

If you feel that you would like to contribute to our work, in helping people like the ones above, please give whatever you can.  We know we make a real difference, so help us to continue our work.


When can I expect a response if I leave a voicemail or send an online submission?

If you ring our helpline between our working hours we will hope to be able to discuss and help you with your question immediately. If all our advisers are busy, then we will do our very best to call you back within 48 hours.

If you complete our online submission form, then we will try to respond to your email within 2 days for urgent emails and within a week for non urgent emails. The response depends upon our workload, however we always do our very best to give you a reply.

Call us

Call our national helpline for free, impartial advice, guidance and support.  Our trained advisers are happy to help answer your questions, however big or small.

Our helpline is open on Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm. Calls outside these times will be answered as soon as possible in our working times if you leave a clear telephone number. Please remember to repeat your number so that we can ensure an accurate recall.

Call our helpline today on 020 8423 8999

Submit your questions to our team

You can use the form below to submit a query to our helpline.


Sign Health

We have special provision to help deaf people, through partnership with Sign Health’s video relay service for deaf people.

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Helpline Frequently Asked Questions

Before contacting our Helpline, you might find it helpful and quicker to take a look at our frequently asked questions.

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Advice and guidance downloadable booklets

Select from a range of guides and help sheets which contain useful information and pointers if you have a quick question about your health and social care.

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