Public & Patient Engagement
The NHS is keen for patients, their carers, and members of the public to be actively involved in their local dermatology departments. Whether it be through the planning, provision or commissioning of services, there are several ways to get involved in public and patient engagement.
NHS Trusts are the organisations responsible for providing health services. They are usually limited to a specific geographical area, although there are also specialised Trusts for services such as ambulances. One way in which NHS trusts like to engage with local people is through Patient Panels. It is important that staff members understand the patient’s perspective of using the NHS and ensure that they are meeting the needs of the local population. Patient Panels are set up by patients and can involve participation from clinical staff alongside trust management.
It is important to note however, that Patient Panels are not a vehicle for resolving personal issues a patient may have with their local trust.
Patient Panels can:
- Act as a forum for patients to offer their perspective on how services should be delivered;
- Contribute to commissioning decisions and advise on local consultations and proposal;
- Participate in the training and education of staff;
- Raise awareness of issues that impact upon service users;
- Identify issues of importance for local patients;
- Seek to improve communication between staff and patients at their Trust.
If you would like to become involved in a Patient Panel, please contact your local dermatology team, or seek the advice of your local Patient and Public Involvement Lead.
Patient Support Groups
Patient Support Groups are often run by people who have personal experience of a specific disease themselves, and many patients find it enormously valuable to have such contact with others, both for support and for practical advice.
For more information on Patient Support Groups, please follow the link below:
Healthwatch is an independent arm of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and champion the needs of health and social care users in England. Healthwatch actively seek to understand the experiences of patients and ensure that concerns are addressed and services improved.
To find your local Healthwatch, or to get involved with Healthwatch and share your own experience, please follow the links below:
Similar networks are available for patients across the rest of the United Kingdom:
Northern Ireland – http://www.patientclientcouncil.hscni.net/
Patients experience surveys allow patients to complete specific questions with regards to their most recent healthcare experience. Surveys can be carried out by post, online, or electronically (using hand-held and other devices). If you have recently received a patient questionnaire and would like some more information before completing it, please follow the link below:
Care Opinion is an independent feedback service that allows patients to publish their own experiences of the NHS. Care Opinion gives patients an opportunity to say what was good about their experience, or perhaps what could have been improved. This feedback can be used to make health services better. For more information, please follow the link below:
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
PALS offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. It provides a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers.
If you have any concerns about your healthcare experience and would like to contact your local PALS team, please follow the link below: