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NHS Listens – patients have their say at interactive workshop

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Introducing drop-in sessions for patients to question health commissioners and working with victims of domestic abuse to help redesign services were two ideas put forward at an interactive workshop to encourage more people to have their say.

More than 80 patients and representatives from third sector organisations, voluntary groups and healthcare providers contributed new ideas to involve more people in local health matters at NHS Listens, an event held by Birmingham South Central Clinical Commissioning Group (BSC CCG).

BSC CCG is led by doctors and nurses and buys healthcare services for about 250,000 residents in the centre and south of the city, with half of this population living in some of the most deprived areas in the country.

Dr Andrew Coward, Chair of BSC CCG and a GP in Kings Norton, said: “The only way we can make the NHS the best it can be is by working together with our local community.

“Patients are at the centre of everything we do. We need to have a shared leadership between clinicians and our patients.

“We are already introducing a patient partner citizen council that will be independently chaired, with the sole remit to ensure the patient’s voice is listened to and acted upon.

“We are very grateful to everyone who attended NHS Listens. The ideas contributed were excellent and we are now reviewing them to take forward as many as we can.

“We will publish feedback from the event on our website and we were also very encouraged to receive positive feedback from delegates on Twitter during the event.”

Ideas from the workshop included:

  • Hold drop-in sessions for patients to question CCG board members;
  • Work with GPs to share best practice on patient feedback;
  • Introduce postcard surveys at GP practices;
  • Strengthen online communication channels to enable patients to give confidential feedback;
  • Go out to meet communities in local libraries, places of worship and supermarkets;
  • Work with victims of domestic abuse to redesign support services so that people can find the help they need immediately;
  • Build on links with voluntary and third sector organisations
  • Carry out face-to-face surveys, through support workers, for patients who are housebound

Delegates also heard from Helen Baglee, Member and Volunteer Co-ordinator at Healthwatch Birmingham, the city’s new consumer champion for health and social care.

She said: “We see ourselves as a critical friend for the city, reaching out and listening to patients.”

NHS Listens was held on Wednesday 12 June at the Clarendon Suites, Stirling Road, Birmingham.

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