Work with us

What we offer

The Patients Association has six decades of experience of working with patients from all walks of life and supporting organisations to partner with patients and communities to improve services.

We are dedicated to supporting patient organisations to support their engagement with patients and carers.

Our work with our partners is award winning. In July 2023 we were awarded a Gold standard in the Ovid Patient Partnership Index for the AMR Patient Shield Project. This project co-produced resources for patients and carers of things to consider when deciding about antibiotics.

Learn more about our work in four key areas with healthcare organisations and read about some of our recent projects in the sections below. We offer services in:

Patient Engagement

Training and Development

Patient Support

Understanding Patient Perspectives.

If you would like to learn more about how your patient, carer and community engagement work can benefit from working with us, contact our Head of Programmes, Shivani Shah, for more information on our projects and partnerships [email protected]

Our peer review and patient feedback can help to improve your complaints management process.

Reviewing your performance

We offer a range of options for the review of your current performance in complaints management including:

  • Peer review
  • Mini review of complaint files
  • Patient complaint panel.
"I think more clinicians would benefit from being involved in this process. I think this should be essential training"

Senior Matron, NHS Foundation Trust

Training and workshops

Based on the outcome of the performance review, we can tailor a training programme to your organisation's needs including:

  • Introduction to complaints handling
  • Investigation training
  • Duty of candour
  • Customer care and communication.

Following our recent training with Mental Health Trusts in the West Midlands, London and the South West, 96% of staff felt that the training would impact on their day to day work and how to respond to a complaint.

"I found myself nodding at every point - great delivery based on valuable experience of patient care"

Training event participant

Listen, Learn and Act

This approach can be used to focus on any area of service that needs attention. It enables you to build on your own good practice examples.

We lead a series of interventions with each division in a Trust.  We create a bespoke event which includes:

  • Presentations on what good complaints handling looks like
  • Workshops to support improvements

We assist each division to develop its own action plan and host follow up events to review the progress.

Projects have seen significant outcomes including:

  • a noticeable reduction in the numbers and category of complaints
  • an improvement in the percentage of complaints dealt with in the 25 day timescale
  • increase in response times of 42% in just three months (52% to 94%).


Our feedback indicates that by improving the experience for patients of the complaints process, they are less likely to suffer anxiety and other forms of mental ill health, more likely to reach a swift and satisfactory outcome, and less likely to seek financial compensation, therefore also improving outcomes for your Trust as well as for the patient.  In addition, a clearer and better organised system which enables staff to resolve complaints, to learn from mistakes and to avoid unecessarily apportioning blame can ensure that staff are able to work more efficiently and with a reduction in their own work-related stress.


The Patients Association's good practice standards and review process were recommended by Sir Robert Francis QC in his report on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.  Through our subsequent work with other NHS Trusts, we have further developed tools to help you to improve complaints handling resolution.  We make all of these tools available to NHS Organisation Members and to Trusts working with us on specific complaints projects.

Work with us

If you'd like to discuss how the Patients Association can assist your organisation with its complaints handling, please contact Shivani Shah, Head of Programmes, at: [email protected] 

Some of our recent work

In April 2019 we were pleased to deliver a session at North Middlesex University Hospital about how to put patients at the heart of complaints resolution. Find out more about the session here