Could you be a Patient and Public Voice Expert Adviser?
In alignment with NHS England and NHS Improvement’s (NHSE-I) commitment to have two Patient and Public Voice (PPV) representatives on the membership of each board, the National Quality Board is recruiting for two Patient and Public Voice Expert Advisers to join as members to the National Quality Board (NQB) for 12 months from February 2021-February 2022.
The NQB provides cross-system leadership to the health and care system on quality, bringing together senior leadership from NHS Improvement (NHSE-I), NHS Digital, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Public Health England (PHE), The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Health Education England (HEE), The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Healthwatch. The Board meets 5-6 times per year, and has a focus on workforce development, patient safety, system transformation and other strategic priorities.
Applications for PPV Expert Adviser are welcomed from people who have lived experience of using services (as patients, service users or carers), a robust understanding of the health and care system and its stakeholders and prior experience of sitting on a Board or senior governance forum.
How to apply Please complete the below application and equal opportunities form to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title: “NQB PPV Expert Adviser application”. The deadline for applications is 18 December 2020. Interviews will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams.
Hosted by Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor, this virtual event will discuss the challenges facing cancer patients nationally as well as the research offering real hope for the future. They will also provide an exclusive update on the Centre for Cancer Immunology.
This insightful discussion will be followed by a live Q&A session. Time for questions will be limited. If you would like to submit your questions in advance, please email them to email@example.com. Once registered you will be sent the link to join the event prior to the day. For more information and to register your place visit here.
Quality interpreting services can greatly help reduce people’s barriers to accessing the health services they need. We’re working with NHS England and NHS Improvement South East to get people’s feedback about their experiences of and barriers to accessing British Sign Language (BSL) or community language interpreting services when they are at an appointment with a dentist, optician or pharmacist. For people living in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, this also includes GPs.
We’d like to hear from you about what’s working well and what could be improved so new interpreting services across the South East next year better meet your needs.
How can people get involved? You can complete an online survey for BSL or community languages, watch a video in BSL, or contact Wessex Voices for a telephone or video call interview. If you communicate using British Sign Language, you can also send videos of your responses in BSLby:
Wessex Voices published a new public and patient involvement report today, Improving Eye Care Across Wessex. The work was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement – South East in 2019, with completion of the report in 2020.
120 adults with learning disabilities and/or autism and 30 carers across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight participated in our survey or interviews. While most people had been for a sight test previously, many had not been to one in the recommended two year period. For those who had excellent experiences at sight tests, good practice meant people had positive, easy experiences. People made suggestions on possible improvements to help facilitate positive experiences as well. Key factors that influenced a person’s experience included:
Having communication and support throughout the process, including the use of Easy Read resources
Seeing the same optometrist and staff at each appointment
Having more information about sight tests and good eye care, including domiciliary tests
With the right support, more people can get the eye care they need. We recommend a number of short and long term solutions to help improve access and uptake of sight tests for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, including:
Increase general awareness of sight tests and good eye care
Ensure optometrists and optical staff receive relevant awareness training and use reasonable adjustment flags to help meet people’s specific needs
Ensure Annual Health Checks are effective in addressing eye health
Develop a learning disability and autism standard for optometrists and optical staff that is quality checked by local user-led groups
Use the findings of this report to support the call for more dedicated eye care schemes for this group – ideally nationally but in the absence of this, create local eye care schemes in Wessex by adapting the Local Optical Committee Support Unit’s (LOCSU) community pathway for people with learning disabilities
31 July marks the anniversary of the Accessible Information Standard being introduced. This has made a difference to the lives of many vulnerable people across England, including Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.
Any group that provides NHS health or social care services needs to take steps to ensure that all people can access the information they need to stay healthy. They need to:
Ask people if they have any information or communication needs and find out how to meet their needs
Record those needs in a set way
Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how those needs should be met
Share information about a person’s needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so
Make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it
During the Covid-19 pandemic, services have needed to change quickly and communicate these updates to the public remotely which has presented challenges for those people with additional needs. If you or someone you know needs information provided in a different format, the following organisations have information about Covid-19:
Sign Health have resources for people using British Sign Language (BSL)
If you’ve had issues accessing information in an accessible format, you can share your feedback with your local Healthwatch or in Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission's new survey so they can help improve services. Alternatively, if you would like to make a complaint, you can find out more about the NHS complaints process on their website.
We have much to celebrate in terms of our impact this past year and the journey we have been on. Some of our key highlights include:
1,300+ people shared their views and experiences to inform local Primary Care, Public Health, Cancer and Mental Health services, through our own or NHS England/Improvement engagement activities we have supported.
We gathered the views of the most seldom heard people. For example, people with personality disorders about their experience of treatment and care, which is feeding into a significant Wessex-wide service review; and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, people with learning disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) people to inform communications from GP practices about cervical screening.
Our reports tackled a wide range of issues from support to those affected by cancer to eye care for people with learning disabilities and/or autism. All our findings have or will inform how new services are developed and provided to local people.
This year we provided development support to 22 colleagues from across Hampshire and Isle of Wight’s health and care system via our Empowering Engagement Programme. Working on real life projects built their skills, knowledge and confidence to enable them to involve people in their work on an ongoing basis.
We’re looking forward to the year ahead and the work we have yet to undertake to bring about the cultural change with our partners, so people can receive the care and support they need most. You can read our full report, summary version or digital version.
As the UK responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacies in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are working hard to ensure that everyone gets the medicines they need when they need them.
Check the opening times of your local pharmacy before visiting Please remember to check the opening times of your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies will have made changes to their opening times, including being closed at lunch time to catch up with the increased demand for prescriptions. You can find your nearest pharmacy contact details here: www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy
Order what you need, don't stockpile There is no shortage of medicines, but if there is an increased demand due to people stockpiling medicines or asking for longer prescriptions, shortages may be experienced. Order what you need, when you need it.
Arrange prescription deliveries The government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. Prescriptions will continue to cover the same length of time as usual. If you do not currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:
Asking someone who can pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy, (this is the best option, if possible);
Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer who can deliver it to you (volunteers will have been ID checked);
Asking the pharmacy if they can deliver it to you.
In January 2018, Wessex Voices published their Maternity Matters report, which included the views of more than 1200 women and their birthing partners about their experience of the maternity system across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.
We worked with local maternity and Health Visiting services to gather feedback to help commissioners and maternity service providers ensure that women have an informed and empowered choice through their pregnancy and birth.
A year on the Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Local Maternity System have produced a report highlighting many of the actions they have taken to respond to the nine
key areas for improvement that Maternity Matters recommended.
Wessex Voices welcomes the report that shows many areas of progress across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. If you have any feedback or would like more information about this please get in touch at Sue.Newell@helpandcare.org.uk.
The Wessex Cancer Alliance is advertising a Public and Patient Involvement lead role. This post will support the delivery of the Alliance's Public and Patient Involvement Plan, developed in collaboration with Wessex Voices and other Alliance partners.
This will be an operation role to help the Alliance realise its ambitions to involve people in all its workstreams. Whilst the role is part of the Alliance, Wessex Voices will work with successful candidate and the Team to continue to provide independent, strategic, advice, guidance and support.
Macmillan Cancer Support are funding this post and it will provide much needed support on patient and public engagement, not only to build the foundations of effective and sustainable involvement mechanisms, but also to build the confidence and capacity for colleagues to continue this work themselves.
It’s been another successful and productive year for Wessex Voices. We have continued to support NHS England – South (Wessex) commissioners in the Public Health and Primary Care teams and the Clinical Networks to involve people in the design and delivery of their services. We are also supporting the Hampshire and Isle of Wight (HIOW) and Dorset Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to improve their patient and public involvement.
We have been involved in a number of engagement activities across the Wessex region including:
‘Kick cancer out of Boscombe’ event with the Wessex Cancer Alliance. This cancer awareness raising event, reached over 600 people offering everything from health advice, mole checks, education, signposting and counselling if required. Around 300 visited an inflatable colon, where Bournemouth Hospital staff provided expert advice, information and signposting.
‘WESFIT: Patients experience of exercise and cancer’ focus groups, again with the Alliance. One key thing that will change is that patients in the WESFIT pilot will be given some support to return to exercising after their surgery.
‘Maternity Services Survey 2017 - Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth’.
This specifically commissioned engagement activity received feedback from 1215 women and 63 birthing partners.
To read more about our involvement activities and plans for the future, please read the full report below.
Browsealoud have decided to defer resumption of their service until Thursday 15th February at 12.00 GMT .
This is later than the original planned resumption time of 12 noon GMT today. They made this
decision in order to put in place extra security measures and develop an even more secure means of implementing Browsealoud on your website. They will be publishing a technical document later today with more details on this.
Browsealoud are extremely confident that no customer data has been accessed or lost at any time during the incident.
If you have any questions or concerns, please first check this FAQ or email
firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively, contact your Account Manager on +44(0)28
9442 8105 in UK / International or 877-778-6977 in North America. Browsealoud apologises for any inconvenience caused during this opportunistic cyber attack.
-Martin McKay, Chief Technical Officer & Data Security Officer, Texthelp
Over 1200 women share their experience of local maternity services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (including Southampton and Portsmouth)
More than 1200 women and their birthing partners have shared their experience of the maternity system across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.
The views were collected by Wessex Voices (a collaboration between local Healthwatch and NHS England) who were asked to carry out a survey, to understand the experiences of mothers and birth partners using maternity services in the last year.
Healthwatch Hampshire, on behalf of Wessex Voices, worked with local maternity and Health Visiting services to gather feedback that will help commissioners and maternity service providers ensure that women have an informed and empowered choice through their pregnancy and birth.
The survey is in support of the national Better Births report recommendations; the report of the National Maternity Review that was published in February 2016 and set out a clear vision: for maternity services across England.
The 1200 views were collected from nine child development clinics across the region and through social media. The views were summarised into the following nine key areas:
Make time - Provide clear and easy access to information and support at all times
Ensure that women have access to consistent services at times that suit them
Clear communication for referrals - Particularly for referrals related to raised BMI
Manage expectations – Ensure all communication is open and transparent, particularly when discussing birth plans and options
Improve diagnosis and treatment of tongue tie – Provide further training for staff in this area
Free antenatal classes for all – Ensure that everyone that would like to access antenatal classes has the ability to do so
Improve breastfeeding support – Provide specialist support at easy to access locations across the region
Improve communication – Use consistent and easy to understand terminology and make sure there is easy to access appropriate information
Healthwatch Hampshire’s Engagement Officer, Rachel Bullock said: “We are really pleased to have reached so many people willing to discuss their experiences of local maternity services. This range of views provides a valuable resource that will help to improve the maternity experience for future mums and their families”.
Members required for a NHS England patient and public reference group.
Interest Area: recent experience of general practice.
Closing date for expressions of interest: 15 December 2017.
The quality of care provided by general practice is recongised as being of a high standard. However, the needs of patients’ and their expectations of General Practice are changing and at the same time, local areas are seeking to better integrate their services around patients. A quality improvement scheme currently exists that enables General Practices in England to earn additional funding, if they meet specific quality standards of care for patients with a range of common long term conditions. NHS England has agreed with the British Medical Association to review the current scheme. In particular, they want to review how the scheme could most effectively support the delivery of good quality care, from a patient perspective.
NHS England would like to include the views of patients and the public in this review and are looking to establish three reference groups in London, Bristol and Leeds. Specifically, they would like to seek views on what makes a good quality primary care experience and consider how the current scheme could change to support and recongise this further. The role on this group will involve attending a meeting in January and possibly participating in a further meeting or group telephone call in the spring. In addition, we may request additional engagement with the groups either through WebEx or telephone.
The meetings planned for January 2018 are as follows:
London - 15 January
Bristol - 18 January
Leeds - 18 January
The role offers reimbursement of reasonable expenses in line with our policy.
If you are interested in participating in one of these reference groups or would like further information please email Anisa Varsani on email@example.com or contact 07730 380 387.
Earlier this year, five local Healthwatch got in touch with all 322 GP practices across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They did this out of concern that some people and groups have been unable to register with their GP because they were being required to show photo ID and/or proof of address. Whilst ID can be requested but are not required and registration should not be refused on this basis.
Local Healthwatch ‘mystery shoppers’ contacted the GPs to ask what ID was required from patients. They found that 286 practices (or 88.8%) asked for some sort of proof of identification or address before a patient could be registered. When our mystery shoppers replied that they didn’t have any ID and asked what they could do, the majority of practices reiterated that some sort of identification or proof of address was required.
We are concerned that by asking for identification some patients may incorrectly assume that it is compulsory to provide identification, when it is not. This could result in vulnerable individuals being excluded from receiving the care that they are entitled to and need.
We are therefore recommending practices either adopt a policy of not asking for any identification at all, or that they ensure all staff are adequately trained to explain to newly registering patients that identification is preferred but not essential. We would also recommend updating their practice information.
Martyn Webster, Healthwatch Dorset Manager, told us:
"Patient satisfaction with GP services is high, but at the same time some people find difficulty actually getting those services in the first place. This has been highlighted by our recent joint "mystery shopper" project in which Healthwatch volunteers across Wessex contacted GP surgeries to find out what it's like to try to register with a GP.
Although NHS England states "You should not be refused registration or appointments because you don’t have a proof of address or personal identification", we discovered that, for example out of the 97 GP surgeries in Dorset only 7 did not require ID or proof of address to register a patient. This has an impact on people generally, but also particularly on a number of potentially vulnerable people, including former armed forces members, students in temporary accommodation, older women and people who are homeless."
As a result of this exercise, Wessex Voices arranged for local Healthwatch to talk to the Wessex Local Medical Council (LMC) about training for GP practices. The LMC have offered lunch and learn sessions for GP administrative staff which clarifies that patients don’t need to show photo ID to register.
The report has also been shared with GP practices and all Clinical Commissioning Groups in the area and they have been invited to respond to their individual Healthwatch.
Here is a link to the full report.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Wessex Voices: Wessex Voices is an innovative partnership between NHS England and the five local Healthwatch in the Wessex area.
Funded by NHS England, our aim is to transform the sustainability and impact of public and patient involvement in health services in the area, and enable more people to be involved in the planning, commissioning and delivery of services. www.wessexvoices.org
We are the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. We exist to ensure that people are at the heart of care. We listen to what people like about services, and what could be improved and we share their views with those with the power to make change happen. We also help people find the information they need about services in their area.
We have the power to ensure that people's voices are heard by the government and those running services. As well as seeking the public's views ourselves, we also encourage services to involve people in decisions that affect them. Our sole purpose is to help make care better for people.
To find out more, or to arrange an interview, please contact Sue Newell, Wessex Voices, Programme Manager, Wessex Voices on 07595 424198 or firstname.lastname@example.org