Tim Kelsey, formerly National Director of Patients and Information, NHS England
“Every part of our health and care system is shaped and improved by involving those who use and care about our services. Everyone contributes their distinctive perspective, especially those who face the greatest health disadvantage and the poorest health outcomes. Progressing from listening and understanding to collaboration and responsiveness, we all benefit from a rich understanding of what is needed and how to co-design and deliver services that meet these needs.”
The Restoration Project- A Burning Ambition…Experiential Design- The Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff
Insight gathered from the public helps to improve services and outcomes as well as potentially helping to spot failures. Listening to and using the voice of patients and the public were never more forcefully presented than in the Francis report. The use of patient and staff focus groups in the Keogh review into the quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospital trusts in England was probably the single most powerful aspect of the review process and ensured that a cultural assessment, not just a technical assessment, could be made.
There are currently 4 lay members on the Senate Council. They were appointed after an open recruitment process and will serve an initial period of 2 years, in line with other members. The lay members bring a different perspective to the Council meetings and its deliberations and they draw from their own experience, from their involvement in patient groups, voluntary organisations and other activities across the Thames Valley.
In addition, the Senate holds engagement events related to specific pieces of work where public and patient involvement is sought. To see more about these events, please see the Senate Assembly section and register here if you have an interest to participate in future events
There are different forms and degrees of patient and public involvement, as set out in the Patient and Public Involvement Joint Strategy in place across the Thames Valley.
Model of Involvement
All patients, carers and the public can be part of membership- this is the Senate Assembly and you can apply here. Some members will become more actively involved for example, joining specific groups or helping with particular pieces of work or attending Assembly events.
People who want to become more actively involved might be involved in on-going strategic planning of services or become members of the Senate Council or sit on one of the condition specific working groups. There will be clear role descriptions for the lay people involved in this work. This will include being clear about whether we are asking for the individual perspective of those with lived experience of ill health or disability or whether we are asking for lay representation where individuals will need to be linked into and supported to provide the views of a broader community.
There is a lay payment policy in place across NHS England which the Senate complies with.