Can one person's story really change the NHS?

By Kate Ebbutt, Patient Opinion

The NHS is huge, it's strapped for cash, its staff are really busy and it sees millions of patients every day. So, how could one patient's story about their care change anything? On Patient Opinion, it can and does, all the time.

Patient Opinion was founded in 2005 and is now the UK's leading independent non-profit feedback platform for health services. Patient Opinion is about honest and meaningful conversations between patients and health services. We believe that your story can help make health services better. Search or browse below to see what others have written about the care they received as a patient. You can also share your own experiences if you want to, you may get a response and it could help change things for the better.

On the Isle of Wight, a woman posted about the upset of being contacted by community midwives who knew nothing of her recent miscarriage. In response, the trust made immediate practical changes to communication between sonographers and midwives .

In Surrey, a patient was sent home from the emergency department, only later discovering they had suffered a stroke. The hospital responded by asking the stroke lead consultant to provide fresh training for emergency department clinicians.

Meanwhile, a patient in Scotland was having a private examination, which staff kept interrupting to get equipment. They were left feeling very vulnerable. The hospital immediately put up temporary screens, until permanent screens could be put in place.

In the 10 years we have been hearing stories from patients we have realised that for change to happen, all it takes is for staff to see the world through the patient's eyes. And that is why stories are powerful. And that is why stories really can change health services.

Of course, positive stories can be equally powerful - over half of the feedback on our site is saying thank you to staff. As a service manager who uses the site says: "My favourite moments are when you get good feedback about a particular member of staff, which you can then feed back to them. That's always a good feeling."

After all, what everyone wants - be they patient, staff, carer, family member - is for the NHS to be the best it possibly can be. When you share a story on Patient Opinion, we try to send it to just the right person, who can act on it and learn from it. We believe that stories have the power to transform health services.

In the words of a patient who shared their story on the site: "I'm pleased my story has made a difference and will make changes so the same doesn't happen to anyone else in my situation."

What's your story? Share it at


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