Before supporting somebody to share their story, you may find it helpful to read these frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about Care Opinion. These questions & answers should give you a good basic understanding of Care Opinion and help you to answer any questions that patients or service users may ask.
Who is Care Opinion?
Care Opinion is community interest company (CIC) that runs the Care Opinion website (careopinion.org.uk). This is a national website for people to publicly share their experiences of health and social care. Stories are published on the Care Opinion website and the services mentioned are invited to respond to show they are listening and acting on feedback. You can read more about Care Opinion’s vision, mission and values.
Who Can Share Their Story?
Anyone with an experience of health or social care in the last 3 years can share their story, this includes family members and carers. All stories are anonymous, the story author chooses a username. The only other information Care Opinion asks for is an email address and a postcode. These are not shared with the service or any third party. People can share a story online, call a freephone number or fill in a freepost feedback leaflet. Staff, volunteers and advocates are also able to share a story on behalf of someone.
What do you Mean by “Story”?
We ask people to share their experiences of care (what was good? What could be improved? How did they feel?) in a way that suits them. This usually words but may include pictures or drawings. This feedback is different from a formal complaint or survey. Stories can be about one instance or the whole journey of care, even if that includes multiple providers.
Why are Stories Moderated?
Care Opinion reads all stories when they are submitted and approves them for publication. We may make small edits to project the anonymity of the author, for example removing the specific time or date of an appointment. Care Opinion also does not allow individual staff to be mentioned in critical comments. Where staff are mentioned positively, Care Opinion will leave a first or last name to make sure that praise can be shared with staff.
You can read more information about our moderation policy.
Who Responds to Stories?
Staff who provide the services will be invited to respond to a story as well as other organisations who are involved in delivering, commissioning or monitoring these services. The author of the story is then able to reply to these responses or make if the response has been helpful. Members of the public are not able to comment on stories; they are invited to share their own experiences. This keeps the conversation structured and helpful.