Care Opinion in palliative and end of life care: apply to join our programme

Update from Care Opinion

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picture of James Munro

At Care Opinion, our vision is for people to be able to share their experiences of health and care in ways which are safe, simple, and lead to learning and change.

In recent years we have seen increasing interest from clinical teams in reading and responding to online feedback from their patients and their families. We have found that online feedback can help to boost team morale, strengthen a team’s value base, help to resolve practical issues, and stimulate and inform quality improvement activities. It can help to build a sense of trust and shared purpose between patients and staff, and support a learning, non-defensive culture.

In palliative and end of life care (PEOLC) specifically, feedback can often be profoundly moving or dispiriting. It can identify areas where changes can be made or services improved.

A two-year programme in learning from online feedback

To enable more teams to make use of online feedback in PEOLC, and to learn how best to create impact and learning, we have partnered with Hospice UK to launch a two-year programme open to PEOLC teams in hospital, community or hospice settings who wish to use Care Opinion as part of their learning and quality improvement work.

We are grateful to the Scottish Government which has provided significant backing for the programme. We are able to support up to 10 clinical teams in using Care Opinion for two years, free of charge.

The purpose of the programme is to work with clinical teams to create real benefits for patients, staff and services, while sharing online both the successes and challenges of this new way of working so that others can learn from it.

Dr Sarah Russell, head of research and evidence at Hospice UK, told us: “This is an exciting opportunity to learn from our patients and their families in a very open and transparent way. We want people to be able to give honest feedback without having to worry, and to easily be able to see where their feedback makes a difference.”

Interested in participating?

We are able to offer up to 10 teams fully-funded Care Opinion subscriptions, along with training and support from Care Opinion and Hospice UK, as part of this programme. Full details are set out in the Information for Applicants which you can download below.

To apply, you will need to download and complete the application form below, and return it to us by 5pm on 28 July 2017.

We will let you know whether your application has been successful by 18 August 2017, and the programme will start in September 2017.

How to find out more

The Information for Applicants document below contains full details on how to find out more about this programme, along with contact details.

Information for applicants

Application form

Response from Gina Alexander, Director, Care Opinion Scotland, Care Opinion on

We held a webinar this afternoon for folks who were interested in this programme.  Thanks to everyone for taking the time to sign up and ask some great questions.

If you couldn't make the session, you can listen/view a recording.  Health Warning: It's 57 minutes long!

We thought sharing responses via this blog would be helpful for all.

How do we bring the rest of the team on board?

We've made few short videos of staff talking about their experience of using Care Opinion - we hope these might help

Heart of England, United Lincs, Locala Community Partnership, NHS Lanarkshire

Is the programme just for the clinical team or the whole organisation?

Clinical leadership and commitment is essential to involvement in this programme but, of course, you may value the input of other colleagues, eg Comms team.

Will there be a cost to us at the end of the 2 year programme?

Yes, if you wish to continue to use Care Opinion in the same way, there will be a small subscription fee.

Have other hospices used Care Opinion?

Yes!  In Scotland, The Ayrshire Hospice.  In England, John Taylor Hospice and John Eastwood Hospice.  Please feel free to contact these organisations about their experiences of working with us.

Many of our clients are elderly, may have difficulty in getting online

Families and carers can help people share their experiences.  People can also share their stories via freepost leaflet or by phone.  You might also like to consider training volunteers to support people to share their experiences - we have some resources to help with that! 

What about children sharing experiences, or those who have difficulty communicating in words?

Parents and relatives can help with sharing experiences.

We have worked with an organisation called Monkey Wellbeing to produce some child friendly materials and a child friendly page on our website to encourage sharing of experiences.

We are also currently in partnership with Talking Mats to incorporate their picture system to help people share their thoughts.  We have been funded to progress this in dementia settings but think it will be helpful in many more.

We have robust systems of feedback in place already which regulators are happy with, can we use Care Opinion alongside these?

Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Care Inspectorate and CQC are all familiar with Care Opinion and use stories shared as additional sources of information.

Of course, you can use Care Opinion as a complementary feedback mechanism.  However, to be involved in this programme you would need to be committed to intensively promoting and raising awareness of the use of Care Opinion.

Hope that's helpful.  If you have any other questions about the programme, don't hesitate to ask here or by emailing us.  Be great to hear from you!



Response from Kimdk46 on


You mentioned using patient opinion in hospital and community settings.  Is this for use by the specialist teams or do you think we could routinely sign post it to every bereaved carer to draw on that experience? Do you see patient opinion being asserted in this area by specialists or by patients parent teams?

Response from James Munro, Chief executive, Care Opinion on

Hi Kimdk46

Thanks for responding. Yes, we think Care Opinion can be used in all kinds of end of life care - not just specialist care. Indeed, most of the account of end of life care posted to date have been from acute ward settings.

Also, we think that stories can come from a range of people who are involved in the care, whether patient, family, friends, or even staff. And a wide range of people can also learn from these stories.

Whether you are involved in our programme or not, it is fine to signpost people to Care Opinion, so they can decide whether or not they have something they want to share more widely.

I hope I've understood your questions - feel free to say if I missed the point!

This blog post is closed to responses.


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