Patient and Public Involvement

Patient and Public Involvement Strategy 

Although this is not required to be reported on with our Quality Account, we feel that it is really important to tell people how we have engaged with our patients and their representatives. 

During the last year Patient and Public Involvement has seen the co-production of the Patient and Public Involvement strategy. This has been the first entirely co-produced strategy by the trust. It went beyond consulting with our patients, being led by them, their views and their needs. 

With support from our Healthwatch partners, the Strategy was developed through a series of 16 co-production workshops, with 70 attendances by patients, community representative, volunteers and specialist groups. It concluded with strategy writing workshops, ensuring that the language used was that of our patients. Co-production sessions were as inclusive as possible, and sessions were offered at a variety of times with both open forums and specialist groups. 

We held 16 sessions with 70 attendances by the public, some feedback we received was: 

“All the meetings I attended were of a manageable size where everyone had an opportunity to have a say and not have to fight for a voice. Meetings were really very well run and we (I at least) felt our opinions were being taken seriously and decisions changed according to the way the meetings progressed. This was most definitely not a tick box exercise, and the organisation is to be commended for being genuine. It meant that I have confidence that if ever I were asked again for PPI I would have an enthusiasm to do so.” 


Community Engagement Group (CEG) 

EEAST Community Engagement Group extends the reach of the patient and public involvement team. Working with this group of volunteers enables us to link in with representatives of communities and those with an interest in the service from across the region. 

Members regularly share their views on the service as critical friends, suggesting ways the service could be improved for patients and the public. The development of the PPI strategy has given the CEG an opportunity to develop the ways in which members engage with the Trust and their communities. The group have set an ambitious workplan focussing on portfolio areas of special interest to best utilise the expertise of our volunteers and ensure the group are best placed to support the delivery of the strategy. 


Engagement Activities

Face-to-face engagement events provide an opportunity to speak with the public about the service and the gain their feedback. This gives us an opportunity to hear from people who may not usually have contacted EEAST. Most engagement this year has been virtual with opportunities for face-to-face engagement remaining low. As a Trust we are mindful of the current covid situation, we understand the importance of physical presence at events with our communities. 

Engagement with schools and community groups has been challenged during the pandemic. These visits give EEAST the opportunity to talk to children about the correct use of the service, offer some first aid and CPR training and show children the equipment we use. 

EEAST staff have taken part in almost 200 engagement activities with patients, representative groups, and the communities we serve. 


Patient and Family Stories

Our discovery interviews with patients supplement our other feedback channels as a Trust. These interviews give patients the opportunity to share their story in their own words on video. These are shown at the Trust public board meetings and discussed by the Board. Discovery interviews are also used for training, handling complaints, serious incidents, and as part of the staff induction programme. Patient stories are a powerful learning tool for hearing the patient voice directly from them. This year we have completed 15 virtual interviews and four face-to-face interviews. The team have been developing ways to share interviews with staff including the use of social media, podcasts and the Trust Need to Know articles. 


Links with HealthWatch and Patient Representative Groups 

The PPI team and our Community Engagement Group volunteers regularly attend Healthwatch meetings and other meetings of patient representative groups including the Citizen’s senate and Patient Participation Groups. We hope to increase our representation at these meetings over the coming year with support from our volunteers. 

This will help extend the reach of the Trust and Patient and Public Involvement to engage widely. We have welcomed support and training on coproduction from Healthwatch Suffolk who have been key in coproduction of the strategy. 


Further Service Improvements 

Development of links between Patient Experience and patient safety 

This year has seen the introduction of the Patient Safety Improvement Specialist and Patient Experience Improvement Manager. These roles sit between Patient Experience and Patient Safety with a focus on developing pathways of learning from both Complaints and Serious Incidents. The triangulation of data across the Patient Experience, Patient Safety and Patient and Public Involvement Teams has started with the development of exciting new pathways of joint working across teams. 

Processes are being developed to centralise the actions set through both Patient Experience and the Serious Incidents. The aim is to make sure that more achievable and measurable actions are set across the departments which can be reviewed to ascertain how effective they were. This important piece of work has been set as a Quality Account priority for 2022/23. 


Comments received through surveys during 2021/22: 

  • "Your drivers are always helpful, courteous and friendly." (Patient Transport Service)
  • "Amazing. Great support from the call handler right through to arriving at hospital. Very quick response from all ambulances required." (Emergency Service)
  • "The call handler was calm, kind and listened well. They explained the process clearly and me feel reassured. The paramedics who attended were wonderful. Again - very calm and patient, explaining things clearly." (Emergency Service)
  • "The paramedics were superb, empathetic, professional and comforting." (Emergency Service)

Next Page: Raising concerns and Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU)

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