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The Bicycle Crash and Care Opinion

April 18, 2023

Here is my story

On the 28th of January this year I was cycling down Common Lane in Sheffield heading back home after having had a good time on a fell race nearby. My main objective was a pint of stout at my local. I had cycled this route many times – there is a very sharp right hand bend and I did what I normally do. I looked across the field to make sure that there was no traffic coming the other – so that I could pull out into the middle of the road in order to manage the bend.

That was the last thing I remember… until I came too …  sitting against a stone wall by that right hand bend. There were four people gathered round me who turned out to be cub pack leaders from the nearby Girl Guides centre – they included a firefighter, nurse and policeman!

20 minutes later an ambulance arrived and took me to A&E where they checked my concussion, found my snapped collar bone (not difficult!) and cracked rib.

All in all it was a very positive experience from the NHS in Sheffield for which I was very grateful.

I did have a small concern about the sling I was offered at the end and the lack of instruction about using it.

Care Opinion

A couple of weeks later I left a story about my experience on the Care Opinion website. 

You can read my story on the Care Opinion website here

Shortly after posting I had responses from both the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Sheffield Teaching Hospital.

Both respondents asked me to get in touch. The Teaching Hospital wanted to follow up my positive comments and my point about the sling and the Ambulance Service wanted to know more details so that they could pass on my positive comments to the ambulance team.

What this means

I have commented before about Care Opinion here and here. 

My personal experience affirms what I have thought about Care Opinion, Patient Experience and Service Quality.

The Care Opinion portal allows:

  • The patient or member of the public to tell their personal story that reflects what happened rather than just ticking boxes or providing simplistic scores.
  • Relevant services to establish contact with the patient and respond to feedback.
  • Points of concern to be fed back to services.
  • Praise for how services or people work to go back to relevant staff.

What I have learnt

The NHS is under tremendous pressure at the moment. A lot of the media has contributed to creating a hostile environment for people who work in the health system the vast majority of whom are doing their best to respond to peoples needs.

Patient Experience tools such as Care Opinion are an important way of communicating back to staff and services about what has gone well and what could be better.

In this hostile environment it is extremely important that NHS services use easy to use but powerful mechanisms such as Care Opinion to capture stories of patient and public – not least to ensure that there are robust channels of two way communication between the public and the NHS.

This helps empower staff to improve and to be assured that many of us value the work they do – this is so important now.


My thanks to all NHS staff who helped me on the 28th of January ….  and the cub pack leaders.

I have started wearing a cycle helmet!


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