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The Gift of Positive Feedback

Update from Care Opinion Scotland

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Care Opinion's main aim is to provide a safe transparent way for authors to leave feedback about Health and Social Care. Feedback whether positive or negative is important for learning and change. Here at Care Opinion, we believe that a response to any feedback given is so important and that learning can come from either praise or critique. Responding provides the opportunity for staff to outwardly engage with authors/service users and embrace the open and transparent nature of this two-way conversation. 

Creating this transparent safe space for conversation can be beneficial for both authors and staff, as learning and change can come from both the negative and positive feedback received. Our approach to this exchange helps those providing feedback and those responding to it, to get the most out of these online conversations. This is achieved through regular training opportunities on the key aspects of responding well.  By providing staff support to hone their responding skills, we help to ensure responses provided are empathetic, Honest, compassionate, recognize the value of the patient/service users’ feedback, and defines a clear plan around how any feedback impacts how the service will deliver care in the future. We introduced our "Star Responder" to highlight staff that are achieving this and incorporating these key elements of best practice in their responses, as we felt that this should be celebrated!

The nature of feedback means that we can more often focus and use critical feedback to incite learning and change, but positive feedback is just as important and giving. Positive feedback can provide opportunity for learning just as negative feedback can and if managed well can have many benefits to all parties involved.  Positive feedback can boost morale and staff motivation when shared among staff teams, thus increasing engagement, performance and helps towards creating cohesive team working. It helps to develop both staff and services, highlighting strengths and reinforces those elements of care and practice they are doing well. Responding well can make the authors feel listened to and shows that you appreciate them taking the time to provide feedback, as well as making them feel they are helping shape the services for the future users. This exchange when done well can make both the author and the responder feel they are part of something greater.

That is why this month’s chosen star responder is Siobhan McIlroy, we were so impressed with how she welcomes all feedback. Her responses incorporate many of the key elements of our best practice guidelines to responding to feedback regardless of whether it is of a positive or negative nature. It was Siobhan’s responses to positive feedback that really caught the team’s attention. Her response here highlights how she endeavors to make everyone’s experience a positive one, she engages in open and transparent conversations as well as engaging other staff teams to provide the best care possible. This approach has seen positive outcomes for everyone involved and highlights that learning can still be achieved through responding well to positive feedback.Image title

We asked Siobhan how she feels about being nominated for this month’s star responder, why responding on Care Opinion is important to her and why responding well to feedback whether its positive or negative is significant to her and this is what she had to say…..

“Patient Experience is imperative in ensuring people have the best possible experience of care and is something that I am very passionate about.  It is essential that we welcome all forms of feedback and Care Opinion is a fantastic platform for patients, carers, and families to share their stories safely and easily.  It provides us with invaluable insights into the quality of care that is being delivered.

I feel that it is important to acknowledge experiences, good and bad, and to listen to what people are saying.  Being able to respond to stories gives us the opportunity to make changes and hopefully make things better for them and everyone else using the service.  

I also believe that it is not only important to learn from “what could have gone better”, but to learn from “what we are doing well”, celebrating that with our teams, helping them feel valued, and sharing that good practice with others.

I see so many great and rich responses on Care Opinion that provide us with such valuable feedback and excellent examples of where we are implementing change and sharing good practices.  It is lovely to see everyone who responds on Care Opinion within NHS Fife, so engaged and invested in it and the number of stories and responders continues to grow.  So, I was absolutely delighted and surprised when I was presented with my “Star Responder” badge when I visited the Care Opinion office in October and I can assure you that wear it with pride, thank you!”

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