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HolyRood 21

Health Secretary Shona Robison is announcing more funding to allow people to share through an independent website what happens to them when they contact NHS. The Scottish Government hopes this will help them to improve the services.

Patient Opinion is an independent, not for profit social enterprise whose website allows patients to share their experiences, both positive and negative, of health services. Health boards are then able to respond and use this feedback to make changes to improve services.

Health boards will receive a share of up to £180,000 from the Scottish Government each year, until at least 2017, to continue using the website to the best effect.

All health boards respond to experiences shared on the website and since it was introduced in 2011, more than 100 changes have been made to services across Scotland in response to feedback. This includes changes to facilities, signage and food services.

Over the next two years Patient Opinion plan to develop the accessibility of the website, and their work within education to reach health professionals of the future. They have also been in discussions with YoungScot about the best ways to encourage young people to share their experiences of health services.

Ms Robison said:

“I am pleased we can continue to support this service so patients and family members can have their voices heard and in turn, can help improve services across the NHS.

“The website is a valuable resource which has allowed health boards to take direct action in response to patients’ experiences. In addition to suggesting changes, the site also allows members of the public to share their positive experiences of NHS services and thank staff.

“The NHS belongs to everyone and it is only right that those using it should have a say in how it is run. The website is an accessible way for patients and families to give their views, and adds to the range of tools NHS boards use to get feedback from patients.”

Gina Alexander, Director of Patient Opinion Scotland said:

“We are seeing some great connections take place on Patient Opinion which really look as if they are breaking down barriers. These are often the best changes of all.

“People want to know that all their feedback is taken seriously and that it’s acted on, that credit is given where due and that things improve where necessary. Patient Opinion can provide a way for conversations to happen quickly and easily for everyone concerned and for things to be resolved as early as possible.

“We are looking forward to continuing to enable all kinds of voices to be heard in Scotland.”