About us The difference we make The difference we make When things get challenging or difficult, it can be hard to know where to turn. The right information about care and treatment can sometimes be confusing or hard to find. When patients, service users and their families need help, we ensure they get it by providing advice, support and guidance. We believe that everyone has the right to receive the very best care when they need it most. Why are we here? In the 1960s, with the NHS only in its teenage years, thousands of babies were born with serious birth defects due to the prescription of thalidomide for morning sickness. In the furore between pharmaceuticals and health services, no one was speaking up for patients – until the Patients Association was founded in January 1963. In July 2018 the NHS turned 70, but the health service still faces serious challenges, with an ageing population and rising obesity pushing up demand on services, uncertainty over future medical supply chains and workforce flows, and a pressing need for social care reform. There has never been a more important time for the Patients Association to act for patients. Today we remain the only national campaigning charity covering all of health and social care that also works directly with patients. "You are the only vehicle for patients to be heard as a single voice." - Patients Association member There's absolutely no way we could do the work we do without you, which is why we value your support so highly. How we achieve this Call us for a chat We know that sometimes it helps just to chat things through with someone. We're here to listen to your queries and our dedicated helpline advisers are always just at the other end of the phone. Our helpline takes calls every weekday from people who have questions about their health or social care and want to find out more. "You have helped me feel empowered, you are wonderful.” - Shirrin Simmons, helpline caller Ring our free and confidential helpline today If you'd prefer, you can also drop us an email at [email protected]. Raising our voice We shout about what matters to you to those who can do something about it! By regularly talking to the national media, we provide a voice for all patients and service users, based on what we hear from our helpline and other points of contact. But that's not all! We listen to what you have to tell us and speak up to decision-makers: we are regularly approached for input by government, the NHS and parliamentarians. Get involved We encourage our members and supporters to get involved with questionnaires and feedback requests run by government, the NHS, NICE and many others. Why not join them? Find out about our membership opportunities All of us are better when we work together We passionately believe that joining forces with others is often the best way to get great results! We collaborate with NHS trusts as well as universities, colleges and care homes to deliver projects to improve services by involving patients. "These sessions developed my professional working skills. It is interesting communicating at a 'patient level' with the public whilst doing the surveys." - Jaco Ferreira, Student nurse Partnerships can produce really wonderful outcomes. Last year we offered six trusts support on their complaints offer, helping them better understand how they interact with their users as well as how to improve relations. Our incredible partners are equally as motivated by the goal of raising standards for patients and service users. Working in collaboration with a huge range of other organisations helps us always keep the bigger picture in mind, no matter how difficult the problem might seem to solve. "The project helped the matrons to understand the impact of the small things that can make a difference to a patient's experience." - Head of Patient Experience Find out about how your organisation can work with us Annual review 2020 Read our 2020 annual review to find out more about our work and impact.