by Sasha Nimmo

Giving voice to opinions on health services via online forum

Many people diagnosed with ME or with chronic fatigue syndrome run into difficulties with the healthcare system, while some have great care which has improved their health. What could change for the better? Who can we tell? How do we know we have been heard?

In Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom, consumer health groups are encouraging patients to write about their experiences – positive or negative – on Patient Opinion Australia,  Patient Opinion UK and Patient Opinion Ireland.  It is a feedback platform to help healthcare providers improve, change or know about the things you are happy with. They are independent, not-for-profit, charitable organisations. Health services pay a small subscription fee to Patient Opinion and this is how the service is funded.

“Patient Opinion was founded by Paul Hodgkin a GP in Sheffield, UK who wanted to make the wisdom of patients available to the NHS. The old ways of doing this – inviting a patient to sit on a working party or carrying out a survey – did not work very well so he devised Patient Opinion as a way for thousands of patients to share their experience, and help busy health service staff to improve.”

Honest conversations can happen here and you can read other peoples’ experiences and the health services’ response. You can search by hospital or clinic, by diagnosis or by postcode.

Patient Opinion say “we exist to help improve dialogue between patient and health service providers and to improve health services” so let’s tell them what we need!