How can I get involved?
Working with Politicians is a very good way to raise awareness and get our issues heard, but nothing can beat the patient voice at a local level to raise awareness and force changes that need to be made.
Contact your local Politician
Your politician can write to your local PCT, hospital, health authority, GP group, or health board chief executive.
Why is this important?
You may be experiencing changes to the way your service is being delivered and you could find that you are having to travel to different places to get all the services you need where they used to all be in one place
- You may be experiencing cuts in your local service for example, access to physiotherapy, podiatry or occupational therapy
- You may find that when you have a flare, your GP cannot get you back into hospital or you may not have access to a Specialist Nurse when you have a crisis
NRAS can advise you each step of the way as to how to seek help and what you can expect to happen as a response.
Your local Media
Your local media is a very good way to influence your local NHS local organisations. If you have a story to tell, we are willing to help you tell it and we can offer you help and support and also explain what the likely outcome will be.
Working with your local NHS
Current health policy is all about placing patients at the centre of care and for people that live with long term conditions, they know best about how they live from day to day with their disease.
You need to feel that you have the confidence and the knowledge to take control of your life and the treatment you receive. Local NHS organisations should be involving patients to work with them to ensure that this happens. This is often at a level that involves looking at all long term conditions rather than your own specific condition, but this does allow you to ensure that all aspects of your needs are met.
Here are a number of groups that are involving patients in the community:
- Local Involvement Networks (LINKs)*
- Long Term Condition Boards/Groups based at Health Authorities
- Musculoskeletal Groups, which can be either health authority or PCT formed
- Expert Patient Groups
At NRAS we provide help and support in form of training to all our members who wish to become involved, this training helps you to understand the language used by the NHS and the current policies that drive the way that services are being designed and delivered, and how the NHS budget is to be spent.
We need to be involved and to shout about the quality of service that we should receive, after all, it should not be all about cancer, asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
Attending Parliamentary and other campaigning events
It is vital that local politicians hear from their constituents about the issues that they are facing and MPs really do listen to patients. This is why it is so important that our members get involved and attend our events that we hold during the year.
There will be regular updates to inform you of these events as they approach.
Not only do we hold Parliamentary events, but there are other events that need your support:
- Petitions, i.e. Free Prescriptions Campaign for people with long term conditions
- Ask your politician to sign our latest early day motions or equivalent statement of opinions that have been tabled.
*Soon to be renamed as HealthWatch