Patient surveys and focus groups 

We regularly offer patients opportunities to take part in surveys and focus groups, to inform both our policy and campaigning work, and our work with other organisations on projects that enhance practice and knowledge in health and social care.

All information collected will be held in the strictest confidence and only used in accordance with the permissions you give us and with our privacy policy

Survey: Tell us about your experiences of unsafe, premature discharge

The Patients Association has opened a survey to hear people’s experiences of unsafe discharge from hospital.

In particular, 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. We are not looking for information about times when a person has been discharged from hospital and problems have arisen because of a lack of support from social care services or local health services. A large amount of research has already been conducted into those situations.

Far less 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.

Get involved: Influence care through the RCS’s Patient and Lay Group

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), the organisation promoting and advancing standards of surgical care for patients, is inviting applications from individuals to sit on its Patient and Lay Group (PLG). This is an exciting opportunity to join one of the oldest and most prestigious medical royal colleges, and to influence care for surgical patients.

The PLG promotes the care of surgical patients by influencing the RCS and its members, policies, and standards. It provides an independent patient and lay view on issues relevant to surgery and healthcare. PLG members act as a ‘critical friend’ to the College, providing the patient voice at meetings, contributing to responses to consultations on issues affecting patients, raising areas of patient concern and advising on the best ways to engage patients.

Candidates for the lay member position should be able to demonstrate previous experience and interest in working in health-related areas. The appointment is for three years, renewable for a further two. To apply, please send a CV and covering letter (outlining why you are interested in the lay role and any relevant experience you may have) to [email protected] by Friday 24 May 2019. Please provide the contact details of someone you have known for at least two years who would be willing to provide a reference.

Interviews will be held in London on 19 June 2019. More information can be found here.

Voting is open in the Patient’s Choice Awards

Voting is now 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.

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.

Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said:

“It was incredibly heart-warming to read patients’ accounts describing how nurses have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and it was challenging to shortlist just five nurses for these prestigious awards. The commitment, care and dedication of these nurses to their patients is without question – it’s now up to the public to make the difficult choice and decide who should be the winner.”

Voting closes at midnight on 14 June, and the winner will be announced at the RCNi Nurse Awards ceremony in London on 3 July.

Nominate the Patients Association for a national award

The specialist insurer Ecclesiastical has launched its Movement for Good awards, encouraging members of the public to nominate a cause close to their hearts for a potential £1,000 award. 500 charities will each receive the £1,000 award, and the Patients Association is in the running for this prize. The money could help us support dozens of people contacting our helpline in need of impartial advice and information, and could support us in our work for patients across the country.

Winners will be drawn at random but the more times a charity is nominated, the more chance it has of being selected – so please do take a moment to complete the short form here. It’s quick and easy to nominate us: you just need our charity number, which is 1006733. You can nominate us until the close of the process on Friday 17 May.

Have your say on how doctors should collect and reflect on patient feedback

The General Medical Council (GMC), the independent regulator of the UK's doctors, is inviting patients and the public to give their views on proposals about how doctors use feedback from their patients.

Doctors must regularly show the GMC that they are giving high quality care to patients and keeping up to date with the latest medical practice. This process is called revalidation, and the GMC’s current guidance says that doctors must review feedback from a sample of their patients at least once every five years. This is usually done through a questionnaire, which is collected during a clinic or surgery, and often provided to a patient by a receptionist or other health professional, but some doctors have to give these out themselves.

The GMC’s proposed changes include updating the method of collecting feedback to allow a wider range of patients to take part, and addressing patients’ concerns that their comments may have a negative impact on their future care. It also considers the view that doctors should look at feedback from patients more than once every five years.

You can find more information about the GMC’s survey on their website. The survey is open until 23 July.

Commission a patient survey

We work with, and on behalf of, other organisations to involve patients more closely in service design and delivery, new products and technologies, with a view to improving patient experience and patient safety. 

Find out more here about how to work with us