Background The Care Quality Commission requires hospices to evidence how views of service users are sought to inform and develop quality of care. Getting constructive comments is a challenge and can mean a gap in knowledge and understanding.
Aim To gather greater depth on service users’ views of the care, using a focus group approach, to generate constructive feedback.
To establish a platform for listening, taking action and informing improvements.
Method Participants were recruited from two support groups and were diverse in age, gender and ethnic origin. All had experienced hospice care. ‘You said we did’ was emphasised to clarify the purpose. Two key questions guided discussion. Comments were organised into themes of ‘What we do well’ and ‘What can we improve’. Additionally three participants undertook a video recorded interview in an adapted London taxi, provided by Health Watch Essex.
Findings Bereavement support and involvement with the hospice was important to many. Who accessed bereavement services was questioned. Support groups at evenings and weekends were requested. A range of approaches to care and support is needed as one size does not fit all. Extending the opening hours of the hospice shop elicited strong feelings; limited hours had a big impact. Some referral routes were difficult and this caused stress. The video material offers powerful stories.
Conclusion The focus group itself had a big impact on the attendees; being asked for their opinion was highly valued. Some feedback was constructive although further work is needed. Another focus group is planned for October 2017 to feedback on improvements made. The potential for learning from the service users is huge and goes beyond making specific improvements. Funding has been identified to increase bereavement support services. An outcome of the event is recruitment of 12 ‘Cloud Surfers’ who will assist with reviewing marketing material.
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