Feb 2 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A CHARITY dedicated to ensuring patients get the best possible care is hoping to win a cash prize from our Lets Do It scheme.
The Patients Association, based at Northwick Park Hospital in Watford Road, Harrow, runs a national helpline offering patients guidance on all aspects of the NHS and how to make complaints about care they have received.
It also campaigns for improvements to health and social care services across the UK.
The organisation receives about 5,000 helpline calls a year and many of these are related to making a complaint about the health service.
If the charity won a cash prize from the scheme, it would be used to print 1,000 updated leaflets on How to Make a Complaint, which would be distributed nationwide.
Helpline manager Cameron Miller said: "This is our most important leaflet, and it would enable us to send them out to people across the country. The problem with dealing with a system which is constantly changing, like the NHS complaints service, is that we have to keep updating the advice we give.
"You hear absolute horror stories. In some cases nurses suggest people relieve themselves while they are in bed and the sheets will be changed afterwards, instead of accompanying them to the bathroom. It is a complete loss of dignity and we advise people on how to raise issues with the health service."
The association, whose motto is Listening to Patients, Speaking up for Change raises money through fundraising and membership fees.