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Star Responder Award Ceremony 2023

Update from Care Opinion

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About: Change Grow Live Inclusion Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust North Lanarkshire Health & Social Care Partnership NHS Fife NHS Tayside Northern Health & Social Care Trust Southern Health & Social Care Trust

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We held our online Care Opinion Autumn Conference on November 16th, 2023, entitled, “Caring for care – How online feedback is helping healthcare get better”. You can read all about the whole event here. Our final session on the day was a special Award Ceremony, to celebrate the 9 most recent Star responders from across the UK.

Our support team at Care Opinion selected some of the best responses given to patients and service-users over the last 12 months. Winners received one of our Star Responder Badges, to wear proudly!

Our criteria was based on the research completed by Rebecca Baines MSc, looking at what people want from a response on Care Opinion. The research highlighted these key elements for responding on Care Opinion:

Diane Boyle, Social Worker at NHSCT was selected as a star responder because her response serves as a perfect example of how a detailed and empathetic response can be so powerful. Well done Diane! You can read the story and response here:

Blaithnid’s response serves as a perfect example of how a detailed, honest and empathetic response can be so powerful, especially difficult when having to respond to a critical piece of feedback. The service was also able to make a change as a result of the feedback given. On receiving her award, Blaithnid said;

“Care Opinion provides us with the platform to receive not only positive and constructive feedback from our Patients, but also where we can be open and honest when things have not gone as we would have hoped or where there has been learning. This is every bit as valuable as hearing about a positive experience.”

Suzanne Pullins, Director of nursing and user experience at the Northern Trust also said;

"Congratulations – I am delighted for you."

Well done Blaithnid! You can read the story and response here:

Naoimh’s response serves as a perfect example of how an informative and empathetic response can be so important not only for the author but also to inform others reading the story on the public site, especially when the feedback is critical. The service was also able to plan a change as a result of the feedback. On receiving her award, Naoimh said;

"I am delighted to be recognised as a care opinion star responder. The provision of compassionate, patient centred care is at the heart of our work in Dementia Service Improvement in SHSCT, so it is truly an honour to be recognised for compassion. I have an interest in the voice of service users and true co-production, so care opinion is a great way to connect with patients and carers, and use their feedback to influence change in our service. I will have to take some time to write a response, there's something particularly lovely about being recognised for compassion. It sits close to my heart."

Mairéad Casey, Patient and Client Experience Facilitator at Southern Health & Social Care Trust was so happy for Naoimh, and said;

"Oh Naoimh we are just delighted to hear this news – well done. We knew that it was a wonderful response and will help many others!"

Well done Naoimh! You can read the story and response here:

We thought Abbie's response and many of their other responses serve as perfect examples of how a detailed and empathetic response can be so powerful. Abbie's responses show they were able to make a change as a result of the feedback too. Well done Abbie! You can read the story and responses here:

Andrew’s responses serve as perfect examples of why allowing front line staff to respond to patient feedback, is very important. His responses are empathetic as well as apologetic, which are important, especially when responding to critical feedback. On receiving his award, Andrew said "Thank you so much, I am shocked.".

Well done Andrew! You can read the featured story and response here:

Lydia's response was chosen, as she demonstrates great empathy and understanding towards the story author. She also talks about the impact the person's feedback will have on other people going through similar experiences. On receiving her award, Lydia said;

"I'm extremely passionate about my role in Service User Involvement and capturing people's voices.  It can be a frustrating role at times when you hear about a need for change, feel you've got some strong evidence to back this up, but then struggle to get the traction needed to turn the change into a reality for the people we serve.  This isn't always the experience!  We do get some 'wins' – but I’d feel better if we got more!"

Well done Lydia! You can read the story and response here:

Lee-Anne was selected as a star responder, because although the feedback about the service in the story was positive, she has written a very full response, talking to the author as a human being who has been through a difficult experience, as well as mentioning other patients who may have experienced this as well. On receiving her award, Lee-Anne said;

 "To be recognised as a star responder via Care Opinion is an absolute honour and a privilege. Responding to stories is such an important part of my role as Senior Midwife and I feel the value Care Opinion brings us in service is not to be underestimated. It is so important to hear the voices of women and families accessing all of our services across women, children and families.The stories are so openly and honestly shared by women and families who are often vulnerable due to either pregnancy loss, pregnancy/birth or other health concerns. These stories are heart warming, inspiring and full of rich narrative that allows us to listen to learn from their experience and improve services. Equally, the wonderful positive stories give our teams a great boost knowing that the work they are doing is making such a positive difference for so many. I am touched to be recognised for what is a part of my role that I enjoy participating in but more so for the acknowledgement that the heart of my approach to care being person-centred and valuing every person as a human has been the key feature that has inspired this. NHS Tayside is using Care Opinion widely across our services and, in particular, within maternity and gynaecology services where we are using the feedback to initiate change, share ideas and celebrate our services. Care Opinion is a wonderful resource that adds insight and value with every story."

Victoria Sullivan, Project Manager and Care Opinion Manager at NHS Tayside, was so pleased for Lee-Anne, and said "Congratulations Lee-Anne – that’s phenomenal and very well deserved!".

Well done Lee-Anne! You can read the story and response here:

Theresa’s response serves as a perfect example of Humanity and Empathy, saying what they will do with the feedback, what impact the story will have and showing how one story can have wider impacts, not just for the service, but more widely for service provision and other members of the public reading it. On receiving her award, Theresa said;

What matters to me….I want to ensure people are given every opportunity to provide an opinion on the services we deliver. No matter what that service is we are public services paid for by the taxpayer and are accountable to those people we serve. Care Opinion provides a neutral platform where individuals can share their story and know it is taken seriously. Feedback is shared at local and national level and as I have learned recently it is read by and shared with service leaders and managers. People have an opportunity to share the areas we excel in and provides a safe space for people to highlight concerns they have. It is important we acknowledge the feedback received from patients, the time and confidence it takes whilst also allowing us to develop our services as we move through challenging times. I want to know on behalf of my service when we are getting care right and equally when we need to improve. It is imperative as a responder I share how I will feed forward the experience the writer has taken the time to document. It takes time and thought into how you respond to that feedback as the memory of care provision lives on in others and can affect confidence in public services. Sometimes we only get one chance to do something right and in my profession as a specialist palliative care nurse I try to keep this value at the forefront of my practice and my Care Opinion responses.

Siobhan McIlroy, Head of Patient Experience at NHS Fife was very happy for Theresa, and said;

"NHS Fife is deeply committed to fostering a culture of compassionate care. As the Head of Patient Experience, I am deeply proud that a dedicated member of NHS Fife has been honoured with a Care Opinion Star Responder award. This recognition signifies more than just an accolade; it resonates with the core values of patient-centred healthcare and the tireless efforts invested by our staff to enhance the overall care experience.Patient satisfaction is paramount in healthcare, and the Care Opinion platform has emerged as a powerful tool for patients to share their experiences and for staff to engage in meaningful dialogue. Witnessing an NHS Fife colleague receive the Star Responder award is akin to seeing the embodiment of a commitment to excellence in patient care.Care Opinion allows patients to voice their opinions and fosters a transparent and responsive environment within NHS Fife. This award underscores the significance of patient feedback as a driving force for positive change within NHS Fife. It showcases a commitment to actively listening to patients, addressing concerns, and continuously refining care processes.This award is a testament to Theresa's exceptional responsiveness and dedication to promptly addressing patient feedback. It signifies recognition of Theresa's ability to connect with patients on a personal level. This acknowledgement goes beyond a mere pat on the back; it reinforces the importance of Theresa's ability to shape positive patient experiences and highlights her significant contribution to NHS Fife's commitment to continuous improvement.The Care Opinion Star Responder Award symbolises excellence in patient care, reflecting Theresa's dedication and NHS Fife's as a whole. It marks a milestone in the journey toward providing unparalleled patient experiences, creating a positive feedback loop that benefits patients, staff, and NHS Fife's overarching mission of delivering compassionate and patient-centred healthcare.Well done, Theresa. Wear your Star Responder badge with pride. NHS Fife is proud of you."

Louise was chosen as a star responder, because it is clear that she spends a lot of time considering her responses, and her care for people’s experiences is evident through the empathy and kindness that she has shown when replying to them. On receiving her award, Louise said;

“I am really passionate about making sure people feel heard and cared for and responding to people’s lived experiences through care opinion is one of the ways I can ensure I achieve this. Receiving the star responder award gives me encouragement to continue with brave and compassionate responses so we can collectively implement care opinion in a meaningful and positive way”.

Trudi Marshall, Nurse Director at Kirklands Hospital shared in the celebration with Louise, and said; 

"This is absolutely fantastic news and I absolutely agree with your decision. As you know over the past year we have worked really hard to introduce care opinion across the HSCP in a meaningful way. Louise has absolutely embraced this and always takes time to engage with others and prepare a really meaningful compassionate response. Well done Louise it is a great achievement to receive one of only three awards in Scotland!"

Well done Louise! You can read the highlighted story and response here:

To all of our recent Star Responders, a very well done and keep up the amazing work you are doing! If you are a responder on Care Opinion and are reading this...could the next star responder badge be heading your way? You can find out more on how to write a good response here: Responding well to stories | Care Opinion.

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