Background It is important that we understand what matters to our patients and their families. We cannot overestimate the financial cuts and constant social challenges our patients and their families are facing today. Service User Involvement has become a formal requirement for policy and practice in health and social care. Research has identified a lack of consistency with the way service user involvement is implemented within healthcare. It is acknowledged that our clinical priorities and the increasing pressures of time can lead to staff neglecting the importance of service user involvement.
Aim Marie Curie Hospice West Midlands will recognise the importance and will prioritise service user involvement.
Methods Development of a service user group – consisting of both service users and staff. Development of Service User Champions (SUC) within each professional team at the hospice. Development of formal training sessions to be delivered by service users to our SUCs and hospice management team – highlighting the importance of service user engagement in current service evaluations and future developments. Formal service user involvement in the development of the hospice strategy.
Results We have already formalised our service user group, which meets regularly. Over the next year, we hope to demonstrate that:
Service user involvement is at the centre of our practice
Establish formal Service User Champion roles within hospice MDT
Demonstrate that we both receive and act on pertinent service user feedback by formally evaluating our implementations
Facilitate the development of partnership working between all stakeholders under the heading ‘We are all in this together’ in the development of the hospice strategy.
Conclusion Service user involvement needs to be a priority in health and social care. We hope to demonstrate the benefits of implementing formal processes to ensure this remains a priority at our hospice.
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