Background Our current patient and carer participation group [PCPG] actively engages members with shaping the direction of the hospice whilst simultaneously improving the clinical environment and services.
Aim To create meaningful opportunities for our PCPG members to positively influence our services.
Methods Our three key opportunities are:
• Speaking out – members were invited to explore how we could use their experience in speaking out at LOROS events and to support campaigns involving the local media. Training was provided
• Participating in recruitment of key positions at LOROS
• Increasing the return rate of a comment card scheme – Tell us what you think. Once a month, working with the patient experience lead, members go into clinical areas to engage patients with the scheme.
Results Following training, we now have a programme to utilise their new skills and past experience. So far, our members have attended several events including our annual cathedral concert.
Quote from a PCPG member –
‘It was challenging, rewarding and gave me confidence to speak in public on very emotive topics.’
Within only two months of developing the guidelines, our members have aided the recruitment of a senior receptionist and chaplain. Our return rate is increasing and areas for improvement are being highlighted through this approach. For example, issues around volunteer transport and patient-staff communication have been raised enabling us to identify and rectify issues at a faster rate.
Conclusion It’s important to think of new ways of involving patients and carers in influencing decisions because they have the voice of experience and are valuable assets in improving our services. We plan to continue to offer these opportunities and involve more of our patients and carers in our work.
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