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Trusting & Empowering our Frontline Teams to Respond to Care Opinion Stories

Update from Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

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picture of Hayley Peters

Our Associate Director of Patient Centred Care, Karen Holden, was recently asked to speak at a Care Opinion event about our trust's journey with Care Opinion. You can read all about what Karen had to say on her brilliant blog here.

For her presentation, Karen asked me to share my thoughts on our journey with Care Opinion too, and so I recorded a video to share at the event.

I've been using Care Opinion for six years across three different organisations and so I was keen to share my learning as well as why I feel it's so important to empower all staff to be involved.


My name is Hayley Peters. I’m Chief Nurse at Musgrove Park hospital and also Somerset Partnership. My experience with Patient - and now Care - Opinion spans six years and three different organisations and I’ve learnt a fair bit along the way.

I think it has the power to truly transform the way that we listen to patients and if we do it right and we engage frontline teams in responding, it can really act as a significant cultural lever in affirming the values and behaviours that we expect from our teams

It really requires that you let go of central control, and it’s really important that you do

It really requires that you let go of central control, the desire to filter everything, every response, and it’s really important that you do that, it’s really important for me that we let go and that we empower and that we trust our front line teams to respond.

In doing so, they engage fully, they connect with that feedback and own it and overwhelmingly it’s positive, and that’s really motivating particularly when a member of staff has been named and it’s very public and that can be really celebrated and it positively affirms the behaviours and the values that we live in the organisation and that we want our staff to share with patients and visitors.

Having that platform of overwhelmingly positive feedback allows our teams to embrace the development of more negative feedback, which is rare actually, but when they do they connect with it fully and they truly listen and they learn and they think about what they can do to improve.

It also means that the response is properly from the heart of the front line and that means it’s authentic and locally owned and I think that’s really important.

Finally, sharing Care Opinion stories online is a great way of, I guess, responding publicly but also sharing with staff and your local community. More recently we’ve taken the step to positively share the development of more negative feedback and I think that shows our commitment to transparency and real patient engagement.

So I’m delighted, six years in. I wouldn’t be without it and I look forward to using it more in the future.

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