THE ambulance service for Wiltshire has become the first ambulance trust in the country to sign up to receive patients’ views in public.

The Patient Opinion website is for NHS patients to comment on the treatment and care they received and share their experiences. NHS trusts who subscribe to the not-for-profit service can then use the feedback to improve their services and Great Western Ambulance Service is the first ambulance trust to subscribe.

The website encourages feedback from people who have dialled 999 for an emergency ambulance as well as users of the GWAS Patient Transport Service, and patients who don’t have online access can still voice their opinions by calling 0845 113 0012.

Dr James Munro, director of research at Patient Opinion, said: “GWAS is taking an innovative and courageous step in asking people to feed back, in public, about their experience of using local ambulance services. No other ambulance service has yet done this. We are very excited to be working alongside GWAS, and we hope that real benefits will follow. It is a great example of using the web to increase transparency and help improve our public services.”

Dr Ossie Rawstorne, GWAS medical director, added: “Understanding the patient experience is a really valuable way to improve quality and, by making patient stories visible through this website, we will be able to not only gain insight into how our service is perceived by those people that use it, but also put in place improvements in how we respond to patients.”

The Patient Opinion website is in addition to GWAS’s existing Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS), while the trust also has teams dealing with complaints and compliments. Dr Rawstorne said these will continue but the added benefit of Patient Opinion is it encourages other people to share their experiences, giving the service the opportunity to more easily identify and address particular issues.

The website is at