e-Connect Scottish Health Council
Issue 1 August 2011
Welcome to e-Connect!
Rosemary HillWelcome to issue 1 of e-Connect, our regular bulletin for people who work with patients, carers and communities to influence and shape the delivery of health services and care. We will provide up-to-date information on participation- related case studies, policy, research, events, workshops, standards and resources. The Scottish Health Council’s Participation Network offers a focal point for sharing experience, knowledge and resources and we need your contribution to help us make this effective.

To tell us about examples of your work, or what information you would like to see in e-Connect that would make it useful for you, please email rosemary.hill@scottishhealthcouncil.org or call 0141 225 6876. Remember, by sharing your participation success you will be helping others to succeed.

Improving quality through participation
Cover of Improving Quality Through Participation reportWe have published a literature review exploring the potential benefits gained from implementing well-designed participation activity in healthcare services, and how these benefits can contribute to NHSScotland’s Healthcare Quality Strategy. There is evidence that good quality patient and public participation can lead to an improvement in the person-centredness, safety, effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare services. Based on the literature reviewed, it appears that the benefits of participation are stronger for service users rather than the general public, and that safety and efficiency gain the strongest benefit from participation. To be effective, participation needs to be high quality and embedded into the culture.

Making the case for public engagement: how to demonstrate the value of consumer input
value for moneyThis practical toolkit aims to help users understand and make the business case for engagement to internal and external audiences. It can be used for all kinds of engagement from small scale 'one off' projects to major exercises across an entire town or wider local authority area.

The toolkit is aimed at those who manage, design, deliver, plan or commission public engagement projects and does not require the reader to have detailed knowledge of economics.

Participation and online technology
cover of research reportWe have produced a briefing paper on the different ways in which online technology - such as social networking sites - can be used by organisations to engage with local communities.

Although access to the internet and mobile phone usage is increasing, the public sector - and the NHS in particular - have been wary of making use of online tools which enable citizen participation. The benefits of online participation include being able to reach more people than traditional media as they can participate from their own homes. This paper suggests how e-participation and social networking can provide the NHS in Scotland with the tools to support the participation of patients, carers and communities.

Participation Standard update
newsThe Scottish Health Council is developing a more streamlined approach to the Participation Standard this year, which will not only be more proportionate but will help capture the breadth of activity undertaken by Boards. There will be no formal assessment by the Scottish Health Council for 2011-2012, and the focus should be on Boards using the findings from their own 2010-2011 self-assessments and feedback to develop improvement plans towards outcomes.

Boards will be asked to produce a short report making reference to these outcomes by 31 March 2012, which will then be used to inform Boards Annual Reviews in 2012.

Resources for co-production
useful linksCo-production is a way of working whereby decision-makers and citizens, or service providers and users, meet as equals and work together to create a decision or a service which works for them all. It builds on the principle that those who are affected by a service are best placed to help design it.

An overview of co-production activities, resources and links to the Scottish Co- producers Network are available from the Scottish Community Development Centre.

The New Economics Foundation has produced a report, In This Together: building knowledge about co-production, that tells the stories of people who are improving public services by working with the communities who use them.

Generic guidance and quality standards for patient experience in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
documentNICE has produced guidance which focuses on generic patient experiences and is relevant for all people who use adult NHS services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The aim is to provide the NHS with clear guidance on the components of a good patient experience. The guidelines also include recommendations concerned with ensuring a good patient experience, with the recognition that such advice should sit alongside evidence of clinical and cost effectiveness. The recommendations have been informed by research evidence, previously published NICE clinical guidelines, national survey data and consensus processes that have identified the key elements that are important to patients.

Taken together, the recommendations capture the essence of a good patient experience.

Featured case study
case studyExperiences of Infant Feeding Support in Lewis and Harris

A questionnaire was used to collect the experiences of new mothers in the Western Isles and assess the information and support they received to enable them to choose to breastfeed their infants. Support from peers and families was found to be vital.

Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 - consultation on secondary legislation
news The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011, which received Royal Assent on 31 March 2011, aims to improve patients' experiences of using health services and to support people to become more involved in their health and healthcare.

Since enactment, Officials have been working on secondary legislation which relates to 3 sections of the Act:

  • Treatment Time Guarantee
  • Patient Feedback, comments, concerns and complaints
  • Health Care Principles to be upheld by relevant NHS Bodies and relevant service providers
A consultation on the draft secondary legislation will close on 14 October 2011.

In this issue
  • Improving quality through participation
  • Making the case for public engagement
  • Participation and online technology
  • Resources for co-production
  • Patient Rights (Scotland) Act secondary consultation
  • Participation Standard update
Diary Dates
diary dates7 September 2011
Participation using online technology,

Prompted by the issues raised in our briefing paper, Participation and online technology, the Scottish Health Council is hosting a seminar where you will have the opportunity to learn more about how technology can be used to change participation practice.

4 October 2011
The rise of consumer health information in Scotland,

The Patient Information Forum (PiF) is running its first Scottish conference, looking at the increasingly important role that consumer health information plays in healthcare. The keynote speaker will be Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing.

12 October 2011
Involving older people: a sharing and learning seminar,

The Getting Together Project identified and engaged with older people living in deprived areas who did not access services. They were matched with trained volunteers who worked to improve their confidence and reduce isolation. Delegates at this seminar will be asked to consider whether this approach could be used to reach out to other isolated or seldom heard groups.

Review of Community Health Partnerships: Audit Scotland
According to Audit Scotland: "The Scottish Government, NHS and councils need to show stronger shared leadership and support for community health partnerships to improve people’s health and move more services into the community." This is based on the findings in a report published last month which generated much media coverage.

Christie Report
hot itemThe Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services, chaired by Dr Campbell Christie, published its report last month, setting out its analysis of the challenges currently facing our public services and its recommendations for reform. The report contains strong support for community engagement, recognising that: "Public services are most effective, and provide best value for money, when users have a pivotal role in designing and evaluating them." It also calls for greater integration in terms of service delivery.

Patient Opinion comes to Scotland
Patient Opinion logoPatient Opinion is a not-for- profit social enterprise which allows patients and carers to give feedback about their healthcare, and health service providers to respond to and make use of feedback for service improvement.

The Scottish Government has funded access to this service for all NHS Boards in Scotland. For more information, contact Gina Alexander on 0131 208 1206.

Engaging young people toolbox
toolkitHighland Children's Forum has a useful toolbox with ideas and resources relating to involving children and young people because, "listening to and involving children and young people is not only necessary because it is a legal requirement, it is beneficial both to the child/young person participating and to service providers".