Top tips for planning
The following tips will help you get your partnership plan right:
- Be realistic about what you are able to achieve and start small if you need to
- Really consider the audience that needs to be involved, it might include carers, families and other people
- There are lots of different approaches to involvement to consider, but often the simplest, quickest routes are the most effective and might be the best place to begin
- Use more than one involvement tool to help you reach a more diverse audience and gather different types of data
- Be realistic about the resources your will need to deliver your desired activity
- Don’t skip the evaluation step; understanding what worked well will enable you to improve your involvement activity next time
Tips to attract users
- Make the most of existing touchpoints with patients or service users e.g. engage with them while they are waiting in reception or at the end of their appointment
- Be clear from the outset what the purpose of the involvement is and how this is going to make a difference
- Make it easy for people to get involved (ask about times that suit them, locations that are convenient, pay expenses and so on)
- Capture contact details so that you can ask people to participate in other involvement activity, though please be sure to manage the data in accordance with the Trust’s IG policy
- Always let people know what you have done with their contribution, to both keep them engaged and inspire other people to get involved.
Wider stakeholder engagement
Whilst service users are incredibly important, there are many other stakeholders that you may wish to involve. Staff in your wider team that will be impacted by change are one example of a key group. Others could include people in organisations that we work closely with, or managers.
The Older Persons Mental Health Inpatient service wanted to improve the experience of carers of family members/friends who were patients on their ward. The ward has included a carer on their improvement project team.
They are also asking carers about their experience of attending the ward whilst their family member/friend was an inpatient. They are using this information to identify the times when the carers didn’t have a good experience and asking what they could do to make things better.
They are currently working together on using this feedback to improve the carer and patient experience.
The Hydrotherapy team wanted to improve the quality of the patient’s hydrotherapy goals written by the referring health professional. However, when they consulted with the staff who made the referrals they found there were many reasons why what they wanted to do wasn’t feasible. Instead, the hydrotherapy team decided to write the goals themselves (rather than asking the referring staff) and changed their processes to accommodate this.
In another example, the District Nursing team wanted to improve the management of syringe drivers for community patients. They included stakeholders from specialist palliative teams and a palliative care ward on their team to ensure that other professionals who may be involved in the patient’s care also had an opportunity to ensure any proposed changes worked for them too.
A children’s team wanted to improve the process for producing Education Health Care Plans. They consulted with children’s services staff across the Trust, external Special Education Staff, schools and parents in order to ensure their changes worked for everyone.
The Care Plans are now streamlined and the model being copied in a number of other areas.