Here at The Patients Association, we work to bring the issues raised through our helplines to life by campaigning to fix the problems patients and staff identify. That means the campaigns we run are all about improving the patient experience. We have helpfully divided our work in to four key areas. These four campaign areas are at the core of all that we do at The Patients Association, they are: access to services, patient engagement, quality of care and patient safety.

Not sure what constitutes 'quality of care' or unclear about what healthcare professionals mean when they talk about 'access to services'? Take a look at each of these areas and what they mean in an easy-to-understand way...

Transforming the cycle of cancer care

At the end of 2016, our Chief Executive led a panel of experts in a discussion to address the negative cycle of cancer care that can sometimes exist in the UK. The Patients Association is committed to ensuring that the NHS provides the best service possible for patients, through collaborative working that identifies best practice and cost efficiencies.

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The PHSO the people's ombudsman?

In November 2014 the Patients Association released a report on the failings of the PHSO in response to the high numbers of people who were contacting our Helpline who were distraught, frustrated and angered by their experience of the PHSO.  Our campaign remains staunch and steadfast as we challenge PHSO failings and support families battle through the complaints process.

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CARE Campaign

Our campaign is based on the four most frequent concerns that we receive from patients: not being helped to go the toilet; not given sufficient pain relief; not given sufficient nutritional intake; and inadequate communication (e.g. call bells being ignored). Our hallmark campaign recognises that everyone who goes into hospital or a care home is entitled to these fundamental aspects of care.

Is your Trust signed up?

STPs: the fight for a stake in our future

NHS organisations have been told to develop ‘place-based plans’ to meet the future needs of their local population. These have been called  Sustainability and Transformation Plans, or STPs. STPs were presented in the NHS shared planning guidance 16/17 – 20/21 and they are meant to accelerate the implementation of the Five Year Forward View. We believe there has not be sufficient information provided to patients about what STPs are, nor adequate consultation and engagement with the public on these plans, and that is unacceptable. Join our campaign and have your say over the future of health and social care in England.

STPs: the fight for a stake in our future

Feeling the wait

Since 2010 we have released an annual report in to NHS waiting times of elective surgery in order to map the state of the NHS. Whilst some voices challenge the overall effectiveness of targets in the public sector, here at The Patients Association consider them to be a valuable and important tool for analysing changes and impacts as a result of national policy and spending. We believe that comparing targets year-on-year of some of the most routine and 'basic' operations available on the NHS provides a clear snapshot in time that is consistent, reliable and reflective of the conditions and state of service provision.

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In our own words...

Forgotten by the people who are supposed to remember us...a short film from the families for whom the term 'avoidable death' will never be forgotten, even if they have been forgotten by the Ombudsman who claims to be by their side. Our President and Vice Presidents join families in asking for your support to find justice.


Speak the lingo: understanding the health & social care system

Do you know the difference between Accident and Emergency and Urgent Care? Ever sat in a waiting room, staring curiously at the sign and wondered what it means? Not quite sure why you might go to a walk-in-centre as opposed to making an appointment with your GP? When do you call 111 as opposed to 999 and can when can you speak to your pharmacist as opposed to waiting in a queue to speak to the nurse? All of these questions are questions our helpline try to help people understand, but many of us still remain in the dark to these questions. That's why The Patients Association are calling for better health and social care education and awareness raising, so that we can all be better champions of our own health. 

Sign the petition: campaign for better health education

Our rights. Our NHS.

The NHS constitution and your rights.

The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England was first published in 2009. The Constitution also sets out the rights and responsibilities of patients, the public and staff within the NHS. The Patients Association believes that the NHS Constitution must remain a key resource in enabling patients to exercise their rights to access professional standards of care, access certain services commissioned by NHS bodies within maximum waiting times and be treated with dignity and respect among others.

Our rights. Our NHS Find out more.

Dysphagia Awareness

The Patients Association has been raising awareness of the issues faced by patients affected by swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). This has been particularly significant issue for residents of care homes.

Whether you are a health care practitioner, carer or relative of someone in care, find out more about Dysphagia and how you can campaign to raise awareness.

Dysphagia Awareness


Anti-microbial resistance

The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) represents arguably the greatest patient safety challenge of our time, resistant infections have the potential to kill and can spread to others. This could have catastrophic effects on society and healthcare services. The Patients Association has consistently called for responsible prescribing and public promotion of the issue.

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Malnutrition and me

The Patients Association is undertaking an inquiry into ‘Malnutrition in UK Care’ and will be examining issues relating to Malnutrition in end of life care. Figures show that one-third of people aged 65 years or over are at risk of malnutrition on admission to hospital, so the  purpose of this inquiry is to understand the experiences of patients and healthcare professionals who have suffered from, or worked with, those who have suffered from malnutrition.

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Coming soon

Content coming soon.

Access to GP Appointments 

Our Primary Care Review published in 2013, discovered that almost two-thirds of people are waiting longer than 48 hours to book a GP appointment (60.5%) and the majority (83.8%) were waiting more than 24 hours on average before being able to secure an appointment. In addition to this, over half of respondents stated that they felt that booking a GP appointment was either “very difficult” or “could have been easier”.

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Primary Care Review

Patient interactions with GPs and primary care account for 90% of patient interactions with the NHS. We reviewed how accessible and understandable accessing primary care in the community was for patients and their families.

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Your campaigns

There are so many health and social care campaigns and issues happening all over the country. If you have a local story to tell or you have set up a campaign group, then get in touch and we will do our best to promote it here.

Check out more local campaigns you've told us about here.

Share your story with us

We believe in the principles of sharing for better care. Reaching out to people of ages, backgrounds, beliefs and corners of England is really important to us because only through sharing experiences can we learn.

 Share my story