If you feel that your organisation, charity or company might benefit from collaboration with a helpline service such as MAS, here is a brief description of how we work. We are happy to work with sponsors advising, developing and setting up projects.

What makes us different?

Unlike NHS run services and government initiatives, MAS has a reputation for working with a wide range of organisations and companies to highlight access to better options in care for consumers. Listening to what you want to achieve with your communications we are pro-active in advising on the best way to present these, in line with our long experience of working with consumers and the media. We are happy to work direct with you or with your communications agency, giving the best advice we can on promoting solid healthcare messages.

What gives support to your messages?

Many healthcare issues are confusingly covered by the media or lack representation in the health service. Some are taboo and potential consumers reluctant to seek help. MAS nurses encourage callers to seek advice, whether from other charities, the NHS, specific healthcare workers and other sources. We believe that better-informed patients are more active in seeking advice and solutions to their problems - becoming 'experts' in their own health management.

What can our nurses bring to your organisation?

Nurses with their experience of educating and assisting patients who manage their own (or relatives') care, are in an unique position to pro-actively advise sponsors on the reality of the concerns that prevent patients seeking or following treatment. Their involvement from the beginning of a helpline project can be invaluable.

Two or three nurses from the helpline are usually involved; a senior nurse who will supervise the helpline team when it is established, a nursing advisor guiding the thrust, ethics and impact of the project, and an administrator to organise nurse rotas and client reports.

What do you need to think about?

Please do discuss ideas with us, we have over twenty years experience and may well have helpful suggestions to offer. We are very willing for one of our nurse managers to attend meetings or brainstorming sessions to evaluate projects at a very early stage. The average time from concept to launch is approximately three months, although we can, and do, set up 'emergency' lines within days.

If you have an urgent requirement to set up a helpline contact us on this number: 020 8995 8503

Many sponsors with whom we have worked have never run a service of this type for the public, and need reassurance throughout the process. Reassurance on such issues as UKCC role of the nurse guidelines, professional indemnity and the ABPI code of practice, can all be useful tools for measuring the ethical, legal, and practicality of the advice to be given.

What do we need to discuss?

Discussion of the issues to be addressed allows for the identification of any areas on which the team maybe unable to advise. Consensus on the information likely to be required is very helpful at this point as well as any areas that may lead to confusion, inappropriate patient action, or danger.

The level at which it is appropriate to give the information is crucial to the setting of a uniform standard of response. We recognise that all our nurses have differing 'styles' and areas of expertise, but the 'standard' of service as well as the core messages of the helpline should be the same.

What will it cost?

There are several ways in which costs are estimated and invoiced and each project is individually assessed and costs agreed. For a helpline running for only a couple of hours a day or for a set period of time - one week, one month - we work on the number of hours that a nurse is on the helpline. For longer-term projects we work on the basis of a quarterly or annual inclusive fee.

 

For further information on how MAS can assist your business, company or organisation please contact us:

Telephone 020 8995 8503

Fax 020 8995 3275

e-mail:office@medicaladvisoryservice.org.uk