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Birmingham CrossCity CCG Patient Council

Quality focus group 20/12/13

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Quality focus group 20/12/13

Feedback from the quality focus group

Happy New Year to all, I hope everyone had a good break. 

Back in December, Michelle and I attended a focus group run by the CCG quality team. The aim was to discuss ideas for the CCG quality strategy. We were quite a small group, 3 patient representatives, Jane from the engagement team and Elaine from the quality team. Despite our small number we had a lot to contribute. 

You may remember from Elaine's talk at the last council meeting that 5 quality priority areas had been identified by the CCG. These were patient experience, patient safety, safeguarding vulnerable patients, workforce development and primary care. We felt that ‘primary care’ didn’t really fit and having 5 headings that applied to every aspect of health care would provide a more relevant and meaningful quality strategy. After some discussion we came up with ‘Improvement and innovation’ as the title of the 5th quality priority. Negative reports about NHS failures get a huge amount of publicity and attention, with good reason. However this does mean that innovative ideas and successful initiatives can be forgotten. It’s important that the CCG actively looks for new ways of working and consider the feasibility of replicating or scaling up ideas that have worked well elsewhere. At the last meeting Gavin mentioned an interesting project trialling the use of non acute beds in the community for elderly patients not yet well enough to be discharged from hospital care. 

We talked a lot about 'patient experience' and what should be included in this section of the quality strategy. Gathering patient feedback, and learning from it, was a common theme. Michelle made an important point that some patients might not know what 'quality healthcare' means. In addition to gathering feedback it's important that patients are empowered and informed what healthcare standards they should expect to receive. 

I’m really glad I attended the quality focus group, I think it was a very valuable experience and we were able to make a really effective contribution. It’s certainly given me a better understanding of the difference between ‘coproduction’ and ‘consultation’. The quality team will now start to draft the contents of the quality policy before circulating it to us for our input. 

Sarah D