Welcoming Paul Gray

Update from Care Opinion Scotland

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picture of Gina Alexander

It gives me real pleasure to announce that Paul Gray has joined the Care Opinion community in an advisory capacity.

As you know, Paul was the Director General of Health and Social care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland until February this year when he stepped back from a long and distinguished career in public service.

Throughout his time as head of the health service, Paul provided consistent and endless encouragement to us always expressing his keen interest in stories shared on Care Opinion through social media, his annual reviews, agreeing to write blogs and, most recently, was our keynote speaker at our inaugural celebration event. Paul’s warmth and compassion, his amazing breadth of experience, knowledge and understanding of health and social care along with his demonstrable commitment to effective public communication and engagement are all things which prompted our invitation to him.

Paul is already making a difference and we are delighted to have him on the team!

Paul's thoughts                Paul Gray

I was absolutely delighted when Care Opinion Scotland approached me to ask if I would become one of their advisors.  During my time as CEO NHS Scotland I saw at first hand the growth of Care Opinion, and its positive impact on patient care.  It’s essential that patients, carers and families – and staff too – have a place where it is simple and safe to share their experiences: and that is a real strength of Care Opinion.

During my time as CEO NHS Scotland I saw at first hand the growth of Care Opinion, and its positive impact on patient care.

But the responses to feedback matter too, and that’s where those providing the care come in.  I’ve seen some impressive responses, even to difficult and heartfelt feedback, and some real changes to practice as a result.  It takes real courage to provide feedback, especially when things haven’t gone so well, and every comment deserves a response.  Good care means seeing and understanding things from the perspective of the person who experienced it – understanding what matters to them, and how the experience felt for them. 

There are some great stories too – and just as it’s important to learn from what hasn’t gone well, it’s also important to learn from what does work. 

In most of the stories, communication is the key.  Where communication is good, people are much more likely to have a good experience and a good outcome.  Where communication falls short, people feel less good about their experience, and are more likely to have a poorer outcome.  When things don’t go well, acknowledge the feedback, share it with the teams who provided the care, apologise for what went wrong, and give a constructive response setting out the steps that are being taken as a result.  And when things go well, it’s still important to acknowledge the good feedback – and to share it with the teams who delivered the care. 

With all that in mind, I am very much looking forward to working with Care Opinion.

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran on

That is great news indeed. Great for Care Opinion, for the rest of us and the services we provide,

Welcome Paul.

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