Patient involvement and carers

Posted 12:22 Friday 1 July 2016
Patient involvement and carers

Our guest blog this week is from Lesley Goodburn, an independent patient experience consultant. Lesley has a wide range of experience in the NHS working in patient involvement and patient experience, and was the architect of an innovative multi-award-winning insight system. She is now working as an independent consultant in the field of person- and family-centred care at end of life.

Involving patients, carers and the public in decisions about strategic healthcare services, as well as patients and families having involvement in the decisions about their own health and care, has been integral to the NHS and its approach to meaningful patient involvement.

How successful is that approach?

Well, that varies from place to place, organisation to organisation, patient to patient, family to family, clinician to clinician, and member of staff to member of staff.

Compassionate leadership in an organisation may influence the way in which staff are open to patient feedback, and how they listen and respond to the requirements of the patient and their family.

As a carer, you want reassurance everyone involved in your loved one’s care will always see the person, and make sure the person is cared for emotionally, not just subjected to the delivery of a treatment for the disease.

In the dictionary care has two definitions, one as a noun and one as a verb.

Noun: the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.

Verb: feel concern or interest; attach importance to something.

Patient involvement from a carer perspective should help delivery of both meanings of the word care as a noun and a verb.

Patients, carers, staff, and the public – we are all people; and people need to connect on a relational level with empathy and compassion to create a care partnership.

Good patient involvement facilitates an interaction between the patient, their family/carers and the staff as people. At a more strategic level, good patient involvement allows patients, the public, carers and staff the opportunity as people to share experiences which can shape the future of healthcare.

Patient involvement can create a culture of compassion, it can transform services. It gives us all the opportunity to connect to people; people who care, care that promotes health and welfare, and the potential to be concerned and interested in the importance of patients and carers as people.

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