Have your say on exciting healthcare projects in the North West Coast

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Posted on the 21st December 2018

When Connected Health Cities (CHC) was launched in the North West Coast three years ago a public involvement and engagement senate (PIES) was created to provide the ‘patient’s voice.’

Comprising a cross-section of volunteers from all walks of life, their role is to ensure the views of patients and the public are represented in the North West Coast CHC health improvement projects.

This is so those professionals working on the NWC CHC programme can understand the views of patients, carers, families and the general public, with regard to the use of patient data within the NHS and social care services – and to ensure their work is relevant and appropriate to their needs. Since then, the Senate (or PIES as they are affectionately known) have certainly had their say! The group meet regularly to receive updates on CHC projects, listen to different speakers and get involved in all kinds of projects.

Over the past three years, their contribution has been invaluable with members providing their feedback on a number of projects – as well as attending CHC events and asking some very pertinent questions from the point of view of the service user.

Innovation Agency. Patient and Public Engagement Senate during a meeting at Vanguard House.

They have willingly given their time to participate in a variety of CHC-related projects – from writing questions for a survey on how people would like their health data to be used to helping to create a bid for a project on alcohol-related brain injury at The Royal Liverpool Hospital.

COPD patients have helped PhD students to carry out interviews on how patients self-manage their condition and how their data was used.

They have also helped to design a consent app where people can record their health information sharing preferences, as well as providing feedback on a new NHS app prior to its trial in Liverpool.

The PIES meetings are chaired John Black who has COPD – which is one of the conditions we are focusing on – using data to learn about the patient’s journey through the health system so we can make improvements. John even spoke at one of our events – sharing his experience as a patient COPD and his views on how he believes using patient data can really help to transform the NHS. You can see his talk here https://youtu.be/p2t0Bo-L4RM

Patient and Public Involvement Lead Debbie Parkinson who recruited the senate members and organises monthly meetings, said: “Patient surveys and questionnaires are vital to the work we do but we want to go further in actively involving patients and members of the public, working in partnership with them to help shape NHS services, devices and systems.”

In fact, the Senate has been so successful that she is now recruiting another set of volunteers for the Lancashire and South Cumbria region.

John Black, chairman of the Cheshire and Merseyside Senate, said: “It’s really satisfying to be able to help NHS professionals to develop more effective service delivery by providing direction. Since I’ve joined, I’ve been involved in all kinds of interesting work.”

PIES member Karen Machin added: “The Senate is a group of people who want to use their personal experience of health services to improve healthcare for people across the North West Coast.

“I’ve been involved in a hackathon where we worked with Amazon to create ideas to improve technology in the health system. I have also given feedback on a consent app which we hope will be adopted nationally.”

“We are offered great support to be involved and I always feel like I’m learning as well as giving something back.”

Two PIES members, Karen Machin and John Roberts, have become Health Foundation Q Members, along with Debbie Parkinson.

So, if you live in Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire or South Cumbria and want to get involved or find out more about how you can have your say about the future of health and social care please contact debbie.parkinson@innovationagencynwc.nhs.uk or telephone 01772 520250.

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