Laura Gray, Director of Corporate Communications, explains the importance of patients, carers and the public working with NHS staff and partners to improve care and services in Grampian.
What difference can this make?
From changing how we care for patients to improving hospital signs - your views can help make a better NHS. You can influence what we do in a variety of ways, from giving us feedback about your care, to being involved in a change to services or buildings.
Over the next three years, there will be more opportunities to get involved with NHS Grampian in improving services and the health of the people of Grampian. By working together, we will also support you to use services responsibly, such as keeping appointments and looking after your own health.
If you have been in hospital, attended a clinic, or had any other contact with NHS services, we welcome your views. Please fill in a feedback card to tell us about your experiences, good and bad, and to make suggestions. In the past, feedback has made a difference in many ways including:
- Making appointment times in some clinics more suitable for patients.
- Employing more staff to answer telephone calls.
- Improving written information for patients.
- Improving cleaning standards.
Examples of getting involved
- Members of the public are involved in cleaning and hand washing inspections with staff in our hospitals to help us improve the environment for patients and reduce healthcare associated infections.
- Local people have been involved in helping us plan the new Emergency Care Centre at Foresterhill.
- Members of the local Public Partnership Forum in Moray have helped us plan and open a chapel in Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin.
- When we write an information leaflet for patients we ask members of the public to read it and help us make sure that it is clear and does not use jargon.
- Local people in the Banff area were involved in planning the upgrading of Chalmers Hospital and the new Health Centre.
- Patients with experience of cancer and their carers and family members are helping us plan a new Cancer Centre.
These are all positive examples of public involvement in the local health service. There will also be difficult decisions to make over the three years of this plan and it is vital that we continue to work together in an open and honest way.
How will we work together?
We are committed to providing the best possible care and experience for our patients. To help make sure this happens we need to involve patients, carers, and the general public. Over the next three years we will:
- Make it easier for people to tell us what works and does not work, by providing easier access to our Feedback Service and encouraging informal feedback.
- Make sure that when we are planning to make changes we ask users of our services what they think, and involve them in discussing options and planning the change.
- Make sure that we learn from positive and negative comments about our services.
- Make sure that we involve people who might find it harder to give their views, such as those who are non-English speaking or have communication difficulties.
- Improve how we involve children and young people.
- Involve more members of the public in decision making through the NHS Grampian Community Forum (which looks at Grampianwide issues) and Public Partnership Forums (which look at local services in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray).
- Other ways of telling us about your healthcare experience
- You can speak confidentially to one of our Feedback Service advisors by telephoning 0845 337 6338 (local rate).
- You can email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can take part in projects that are planning changes by becoming a public representative or attending a focus group or event.
- You can participate in the national surveys about hospital care, GP care and services for people with long term conditions.
- You can call the Independent Advice and Support Service (IASS) on 0845 330 5012 (local rate).
The service can help people, who do not wish to go directly to the NHS Feedback Service, who would have difficulty filling in a form, or who do not have English as their first language.