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Hearing voices: sounds great!
  1. Jacqueline Saunders
  1. St Nicholas Hospice Care, Bury St Edmunds, UK


Introduction Over recent years the Hospice has invested significantly in developing a range of means whereby people who use our services and provide the services can influence strategy, change practice and cast opinions into management decision making and clinical practice.

Aims To be an organisation which genuinely listens to its people, enshrining the concept of a community of care and caring for the community of patients, families and carers.

Methods implemented so far include:

The Service User Forum developing into the Advisory Group involved in:

  • Senior appointments – Chaplain, CEO, Ward Sister

  • Patient client information material

  • The organisation's website strategy

  • Design, application and interpretation of patient and family Satisfaction Survey (actually undertaken by members of the Service User Forum)

  • Fundraising and marketing methods

A Staff Forum being set up:

  • Regular meetings with C.E.O. and Directors to express concerns and formulate solutions.

Regular Staff Satisfaction Surveys:

  • Using the Times methodology generating depth and breadth of data, now used for three consecutive years.

Staff briefings:

  • CEO gives regular briefings to all staff and volunteers about all aspects of the Hospice.

Discussion It is now expected practice to integrate peoples' voices (opinions) into planning, delivery and evaluation of all domains of the Hospice.

Conclusion The Hospice feels a better place to work – a ‘listening’ and consultative approach. Patients and bereaved relatives meeting quarterly with an independent facilitator ‘say it as it is’ – real partnership.

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