Guidance

NHS patients and service users: help and information

Information for NHS patients and service users.

Monitor’s role

Monitor is the sector regulator for health services in England and our job is to make the health sector work better for patients. As well as making sure that independent NHS foundation trusts are well led so that they can deliver quality care on a sustainable basis, we make sure:

  • essential services are maintained if a provider gets into serious difficulties
  • the NHS payment system promotes quality and efficiency
  • patients do not lose out through restrictions on their rights to make choices, through poor purchasing on their behalf, or through inappropriate anti-competitive behaviour by providers or commissioners

Find out more about our role and how we work with our partners.

Healthcare organisations in your area

Your local NHS foundation trust

We make sure public providers of NHS care are well led and able to deliver quality care on an ongoing basis. We do this by setting the governance and operational standards, or ‘bar’, that all NHS foundation trusts must meet to be eligible for the NHS provider licence that we now issue.

Find out more about the performance of your local NHS foundation trust in this directory.

In serious cases where hospitals are not providing good and safe care to patients, and the management cannot fix the problems by themselves, the foundation trust may be put into ‘special measures’.

This guide for patients explains more about special measures.

NHS trusts applying for NHS foundation trust status

Monitor assesses NHS trusts before they can become NHS foundation trusts to make sure they are well-led and able to deliver good quality care for patients on a continuous basis.

See the list of NHS trusts we are currently assessing for NHS foundation trust status.

Independent providers of NHS funded services

We also license independent providers of NHS services (both commercial and third sector) that have been approved by the Care Quality Commission. We monitor the continuing performance of all licensed providers to make sure the required standards are being maintained.

See the list of licensed independent providers.

Your local clinical commissioning group

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for the commissioning (or purchasing) of health and care services in your local area. Find your nearest clinical commissioning group

Your local Healthwatch

Local Healthwatch organisations work on behalf of their communities to make sure people’s views on health and care services are heard. Find your nearest local Healthwatch

Complain about an NHS service

Monitor takes complaints about NHS care providers seriously. However, our duties do not include resolving individual complaints about healthcare providers.

Watch the video below or read this guidance to see what Monitor can do to help you make a complaint.

Video: How to make a complaint about an NHS healthcare service

This short leaflet explains how Monitor uses information from patient complaints.

Listening to your views

We’re keen to hear from you about your experiences of healthcare in England.

Here are some recent projects that have included your feedback.

Joined-up care for patients

Patients with complex care needs may receive health and social care services from multiple providers and in different care settings. This can lead to duplication, unnecessary delays and poor outcomes for patients.

Find out what Monitor is doing to support the NHS to deliver more joined-up, co-ordinated care that is based around an individual’s needs.

Choosing your hospital

If you’ve been referred to see a specialist by your GP, then you have the right to choose which hospital you go to. The NHS Choices website provides further information on choosing a hospital.

As sector regulator, we also make sure patients do not lose out through restrictions on their rights to make choices, through poor purchasing on their behalf, or through inappropriate anti-competitive behaviour by providers or commissioners.

There are rules governing choice and competition in the NHS. Please contact Monitor if you have a query about anything relating to procurement, choice or competition in the NHS.

The NHS payment system

With NHS England, we are also responsible for regulating payments made by commissioners to providers for all NHS services.

Monitor sets the rules that govern the prices paid for services, while the grouping of services for payment purposes is done by NHS England. This work is critical to making sure every pound of taxpayers’ money spent on health goes as far as it can and results in the best possible care for patients.

This guide explains the NHS payment system, focusing on how prices and rules are set to provide the best value and care for patients.

Published 9 March 2015